The next Barcelona match is upon us! A new era begins for Barça as the Blaugrana welcome Espanyol to Camp Nou in a big La Liga game, and new head coach Xavi Hernández has called up the following 23 players for Saturday’s Barcelona Derby:
Goalkeepers: 1. Marc-André ter Stegen, 13. Neto, 26. Iñaki Peña
Defenders: 3. Gerard Piqué, 4. Ronald Araujo, 15. Clément Lenglet, 18. Jordi Alba, 22. Óscar Mingueza, 23. Samuel Umtiti, 24. Eric García, 31. Alejandro Balde
Midfielders: 5. Sergio Busquets, 6. Riqui Puig, 11. Yusuf Demir, 14. Philippe Coutinho, 20. Sergi Roberto, 21. Frenkie De Jong, 28. Nico González, 30. Gavi
Forwards: 9. Memphis Depay, 17. Luuk De Jong, 33. Ez Abde, 37. Ilias Akhomach
There are several players unavailable for Xavi’s managerial debut as Ansu Fati (hamstring), Pedri (thigh), Sergiño Dest (back), Ousmane Dembélé (hamstring), Martin Braithwaite (knee) and Sergio Agüero (heart) all miss out because of injury while new signing Dani Alves is not available for selection until January. There are good news though as Eric García, Gerard Piqué, Nico González and Sergi Roberto have all recovered from injury during the international break in time to be ready for this one, and two Barça B attackers are called up in 19-year-old Ez Abde and 17-year-old Ilias Akhomach.
Predicted starting XI (4-3-3):
Ter Stegen; Roberto, Piqué, García, Alba; Gavi, Busquets, De Jong; Demir, Memphis, Coutinho
The match kicks off at 9pm CET/WAT (Barcelona & Nigeria), 8pm GMT (UK), 3pm ET, 12pm PT (USA), 1.30am IST (India, Sunday), and you can join us to follow and comment all the action.
VISCA EL BARÇA!