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What to look out for as Barcelona take on Leganes

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The champions are back at the Camp Nou

Barcelona V Leganes Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images

Barcelona play their first home game on Tuesday since returning to La Liga action, and there’s plenty for Quique Setien to think about ahead of the match.

The champions convincingly beat Real Mallorca 4-0 on Saturday but with a hectic fixture list to come the Barca coach has already spoken about rotation in his pre-match press conference.

Let’s have a look at some of the talking points ahead of the game:

Will Braithwaite keep his place?

RCD Mallorca v FC Barcelona - La Liga Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Martin Braithwaite was a bit of a surprise starter against Real Mallorca but it paid off as he scored his first Barcelona goal in the 4-0 win.

He’ll be hoping to keep his place in the team too against his former club and has spoken about how he “really wants” to play on Tuesday.

The Dane has a good chance too. He outshone Antoine Griezmann against Mallorca, while Quique Setien said in his pre-match presser he’s not sure if he’ll start Luis Suarez.

Messi close to 700 career goals

Lionel Messi’s goal against Real Mallorca took him to 698 for club and country and means the captain is closing in on yet another landmark.

A brace against Leganes would see him hit 700 goals, another quite astonishing achievement by the 32-year-old.

Leganes will need no reminding that Messi did score two the last time the two sides met in January when Barca ran out 5-0 winners in the Copa del Rey.

Vidal, Suarez & Umtiti at risk of suspension

RCD Mallorca v FC Barcelona - La Liga Photo by Rafa Babot/MB Media/Getty Images

Quique Setien may have one eye on Friday’s trip to Sevilla against Leganes and will need to be careful with his team selection as a trio of players are at risk of suspension.

Arturo Vidal, Suarez and Samuel Umtiti are all just one booking away from a one-match ban which could influence Setien’s selection.

Clement Lenglet’s return means it’s unlikely Umtiti will play, but Vidal and Suarez could be involved and will need to be on their best behaviour.

Camp Nou still a fortress?

Tuesday’s match at the Camp Nou will of course be played without fans which is going to take some getting used to for players and supporters watching at home.

Barca do have recent experience of playing at an empty Camp Nou. They beat Las Palmas 3-0 in 2017 after the game was played behind closed doors after unrest in Catalonia.

In the Bundesliga it’s been noted how home advantage had diminished a little, but Barca will be hoping that’s not the case in La Liga given how dominant they have been at home.

How many changes will Setien make?

RCD Mallorca v FC Barcelona - La Liga Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Setien spoke in his pre-match presser about how he plans to make changes but it will be interesting to see just how much rotation he goes in for.

We already know Jordi Alba is out but the only other players who look nailed on to start are Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Gerard Pique and Lionel Messi.

Lenglet and Nelson Semedo could both come back into the defence, while there are plenty of options in midfield if Setien wants to freshen things up.

The Barca boss also has five substitutes to play with which could allow some of his youngsters to get some long-awaited game time.