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FC Barcelona News: 18 August 2018; Stage Set for La Liga Opener

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Barcelona v Real Madrid - La Liga Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

MATCH PREVIEW - FC Barcelona vs Alavés | FC Barcelona
The wait is over – La Liga is back! With a new look squad, and one official title already in the bag, FC Barcelona’s bid to retain the Spanish championship begins on Saturday at 10.15pm CET at home to Alavés. Barça have won their opening fixture in every one of the last nine seasons. Can they make it an unprecedented ten in a row?

Barça’s first La Liga lineup for 2018/19 announced | FC Barcelona
The 18 players chosen by Valverde, who begins his second campaign in the dugout with the reigning champions, are: Ter Stegen, N. Semedo, Piqué, I. Rakitic, Sergio, Coutinho, Arthur, Suárez, Messi, Dembélé, Rafinha, Cillessen, Malcom, Lenglet, Jordi Alba, S. Roberto, Vidal and Umtiti. Aleñá and Denis Suárez are not available due to injury, whilst Paco Alcácer, Munir, Vermaelen and Samper are left out for tactical reasons.

Ernesto Valverde: Alavés usually play well at Camp Nou | FC Barcelona
Ernesto Valverde appeared before the press ahead of Saturday’s league debut at Camp Nou against Alavés (kick off, 10.15pm CEST). The Barça coach explained that he expects a “similar game to last season” in which the visitors caused the blaugranes no end of problems with the home side having to come from behind to win 2-1 thanks to goals from Messi and Suárez.

Barcelona’s best XI picks itself: Ousmane Dembele wide and Philippe Coutinho deeper | ESPN
With those two games out of the way -- and with only Carles Alena and Denis Suarez injured at the moment -- Barca are now ready to open their campaign this weekend. Or, as Valverde put it on Wednesday: “It’s time for the gunfire to start again.”

When and where to watch FC Barcelona vs Deportivo Alavés | FC Barcelona
La Liga returns to Camp Nou after a break of three months. The blaugranes host Deportivo Alavés at 10.15pm CEST, a game that you can follow on the Club’s official website and on its various social media platforms. Below we have a guide to kick off times and TV coverage around the world.

Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde says La Liga matches in U.S. seem ‘strange’ | ESPN
Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde says La Liga’s plan to take one fixture per season to the United States or Canada strikes him as “strange.” La Liga announced on Thursday that an agreement with Relevant, the organisers of the International Champions Cup, would see one game played in North America each year to promote the game in the continent.

Official: Messi isn’t called up by Argentina | Sport
Leo Messi, as expected, won’t play for Argentina as he contemplates his future with the national side. At the moment this means Messi isn’t included in new coach Leonel Scaloni’s squad list for the two matches against Guatemala and Colombia in September.