Barcelona open their Champions League campaign against PSV on Tuesday night, and coach Ernesto Valverde will be eager for a positive start.
Things have started positively for the Catalan giants domestically, as they’ve collected maximum points from their four La Liga games thus far.
Further, they’ve scored 14 goals and conceded just three, suggesting that Valverde has found an effective balance in his side following on from last season and that they’ll be more than ready to compete for major honours again.
Nevertheless, the big red mark against their campaign last year was their Champions League exit to Roma in the quarter-finals as they capitulated in the Italian capital in the second leg and crashed out in disappointing fashion.
With that in mind, Valverde and Barcelona will want to make an early statement of intent in Europe this time round, and they get the chance to do so against PSV at the Nou Camp on Tuesday night.
In turn, it would be no surprise if the Barca boss opted for a very strong line-up as expected, and as per the probable XI below put forward by AS, he is unlikely to rotate and rest players despite playing at the weekend off the back of the international break.
Philippe Coutinho is now available for selection after being ineligible last year following his move from Liverpool, while there will be no room for summer signings Arthur, Malcom, Arturo Vidal or Clement Lenglet, based on the line-up below.
Valverde has a wealth of quality at his disposal and has added real depth too this past summer, and so it would come as no surprise if he perhaps uses the Girona game at the weekend to rest key individuals.
For this one though, Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele could lead a motivated side to start putting their Roma nightmare behind them with a convincing win to start a new campaign.
Probable XI: Ter Stegen; Sergi Roberto, Pique, Umtiti, Alba; Busquets, Rakitic, Coutinho; Messi, Suarez, Dembele. (via AS)