The next Barcelona match is upon us! The Blaugrana are back in La Liga action with a trip across town to face their Catalan rivals Espanyol, and Ernesto Valverde has called up the following 19 players* for the game:
Goalkeepers: 1. Marc-André ter Stegen, 13. Jasper Cillessen, 30. Iñaki Peña
Defenders: 2. Nélson Semedo, 3. Gerard Piqué, 15. Clément Lenglet, 18. Jordi Alba, 24. Thomas Vermaelen, 27. Juan Miranda
Midfielders: 4. Ivan Rakitic, 5. Sergio Busquets, 6. Denis Suarez, 7. Philippe Coutinho, 21. Carles Aleñá, 22. Arturo Vidal
Forwards: 9. Luis Suárez, 10. Lionel Messi, 11. Ousmane Dembélé, 19. Munir
*Before the game one player will be cut from the final squad, and it’ll be Iñaki Peña because you don’t need two goalkeepers on the bench.
The great bit of news is the return of Luis Suárez, who is back after a couple of weeks out with a knee problem. The Uruguayan was back in training along with Arthur over the last few days, but the Brazilian is not quite fit yet and misses out with a muscle issue. Also injured are Samuel Umtiti, Sergi Roberto, Malcom, Sergi Samper and Rafinha.
Predicted starting XI (4-3-3):
Ter Stegen; Semedo, Piqué, Lenglet, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Vidal; Messi, Suárez, Coutinho
The match kicks off at 8.45pm CET/WAT (Barcelona & Nigeria), 7.45pm GMT (UK), 2.45pm ET, 11.45am PT (USA), 1.15am IST (India, Sunday), and you can join us to follow and comment all the action.
VISCA EL BARÇA!