The next Barcelona match is upon us! The Blaugrana start the new season of La Liga with an away match against Athletic Bilbao, and Ernesto Valverde has called up the following 19 players for the trip to San Mamés:
Goalkeepers: 1. Marc-André ter Stegen, 26. Iñaki Peña
Defenders: 2. Nélson Semedo, 3. Gerard Piqué, 15. Clément Lenglet, 18. Jordi Alba, 23. Samuel Umtiti, 24. Junior Firpo
Midfielders: 4. Ivan Rakitic, 5. Sergio Busquets, 7. Philippe Coutinho, 12. Rafinha, 19. Carles Aleñá, 20. Sergi Roberto, 21. Frenkie De Jong
Forwards: 9. Luis Suárez, 11. Ousmane Dembélé, 17. Antoine Griezmann, 27. Carles Pérez
The big news is the absence of Lionel Messi, who is yet to train with the group since starting his recovery from a calf injury and was unlikely to feature at all. The captain is out as well as Arthur and Arturo Vidal who aren’t quite match fit and Jean-Clair Todibo and Moussa Wagué per the manager’s decision. Once the team news come out one player on the list will be cut from the final 18-man group that will be in uniform, most likely Carles Pérez.
Predicted starting XI (4-3-3):
Ter Stegen; Semedo, Piqué, Lenglet, Alba; Roberto, Busquets, De Jong; Dembélé, Suárez, Griezmann
The match kicks off at 9pm CET (Barcelona), 8pm BST/WAT (UK & Nigeria), 3pm ET, 12pm PT (USA), 12.30am IST (India, Saturday), and you can join us to follow and comment all the action from the champions’ debut.
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