Confirmed Barcelona squad vs Villarreal: Boost for Valverde while key figure left out

Barcelona will look to bounce back from their defeat to Granada at the weekend when they host Villarreal at the Nou Camp on Tuesday night.

The pressure is building on coach Ernesto Valverde and his side as they’ve now made their worst start to a La Liga campaign in 25 years.

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That has left them in eighth place in the standings and facing a four-point gap to joint leaders Athletic Bilbao and Real Madrid.

With that in mind, Valverde knows that the pressure is on for the reigning La Liga champions to produce a response and get back to winning ways, and he has been handed a boost after announcing his squad for the encounter.

As seen in the club’s tweet below, Ousmane Dembele has returned from injury to take his place in the squad, and he’ll be hoping to have a positive impact if called upon by the Barcelona coach as he undoubtedly offers a different dynamic in the final third with his pace, movement and directness.

Meanwhile, there is no place for stalwart Ivan Rakitic as he is left out despite being such an important and consistent presence in the line-up since he arrived at the club, as is Carles Perez while both Jordi Alba and Samuel Umtiti miss out due to injury, as per Mundo Deportivo.

The Catalan giants were left stunned after their loss at Granada as they weren’t able to secure the victory even with talisman Lionel Messi back involved, and so that would have been a major blow in what has been a difficult start to the campaign in general.

With the pressure on, they’ll hope that they can silence their critics to an extent, but importantly in terms of boosting morale and belief within the group, they know the importance of finding their form as soon as possible in order to ensure that they can compete on multiple fronts this season.

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