Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde has named his 18-man squad for the clash with Real Madrid on Wednesday night.
The two bitter rivals lock horns at the Nou Camp in midweek as they look to secure what could be a decisive win in the La Liga title race this season.
With the two sides currently locked level on 35 points after 16 games, little is splitting them and so picking up the bragging rights in this showdown could make all the difference come the end of the season.
In turn, Valverde will hope that he has made the right choices for his squad, and as confirmed in the club’s tweet below, there are some notable absentees.
As noted by Sport, Arthur and Ousmane Dembele miss out due to injury as neither have recovered from setbacks to put themselves in contention, while Moussa Wague, Junior Firpo and Jean-Clair Todibo are all left out for technical reasons.
That will be a blow for that trio as they would no doubt have been desperate to feature in such a hugely important fixture, but they’ll have to be content with a seat in the stands on this occasion.
With that in mind though, it gives a pretty clear indication as to how Barcelona could line up for the showdown, as there certainly won’t be any resting of key players for such a crunch encounter.
Barring any late blows, Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann will be expected to lead the charge for the Catalan giants, and so they’ll be confident of getting the right result at home with that quality and experience up top.
However, they will no doubt be wary of the threat posed by Real Madrid, although the visitors are also missing a number of key players too with the likes of Marcelo, James Rodriguez and Eden Hazard all left out of the squad with their own injury problems.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) December 17, 2019