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FC Barcelona News: 18 September 2018; 18 Named in Match Squad as Champions League Begins

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Real Sociedad v FC Barcelona - La Liga Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images

Match Preview: FC Barcelona vs PSV Eindhoven | FC Barcelona
The UEFA Champions League is back, and FC Barcelona open play against the defending Eredivisie champions PSV Eindhoven at Camp Nou. The Catalans will need a good result, as the group stage won’t get any easier — Group B is this season’s so-called ‘group of death’ which, before it’s said and done, will also pit Barça against the Italian giants Inter Milan and the Premier League’s Tottenham Hotspur.

Squad announced to face PSV Eindhoven | FC Barcelona
FC Barcelona are ready and raring to go for Tuesday’s Champions League opener against PSV Einhoven at the unusually early kick-off time of 6.55pm CET. The team trained for the last time before the game on Monday — following Ernesto Valverde and Philippe Coutinho’s press conferences — where they were joined by Iñaki Peña of Barça B.

Ernesto Valverde: High hopes for the Champions League | FC Barcelona
Ernesto Valverde spoke to the press on Monday evening ahead of the Champions League debut against PSV Eindhoven, a young side he reckons “are quite capable of giving us and the other teams in this group a very tough game … They play an attacking game, so we’re going to have to defend well.

Coutinho looks forward to Champions League debut | FC Barcelona
Speaking the day before the first game of the 2018/19 Champions League campaign, Philippe Coutinho said that “it will be a special, important night for me. I’m looking forward to this because I couldn’t play in this competition for Barça last season.”

10 things you need to know about PSV Eindhoven | FC Barcelona
Some interesting facts about the Dutch team, Barça’s first opponent in the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League.

Barcelona captaincy has changed Messi, says Bartomeu | Goal
Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu believes Lionel Messi is “very happy” at the La Liga club, praising the star for changing after taking the captaincy. Messi, 31, was named Barca skipper in August after Andres Iniesta’s departure from Camp Nou.

Barcelona reject Ivan Rakitic contract extension request | Football Espana
Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has told midfielder Ivan Rakitic he will not receive his requested new contract this summer. The Croatian international was heavily linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain this summer before committing to Barca and stating he wanted a new contract offer this season.

Gil Manzano to take charge of Barcelona’s game against Girona | Sport
Jesus Gil Manzano, the best official in the Primera Division last season, will take charge of Sunday’s game at Camp Nou. Carlos del Cerro Grande will join him as the march’s VAR official.