Barcelona have named their 18-man squad for the clash with Valencia on Saturday as they look to stay top of La Liga this weekend.
The Catalan giants currently sit joint-top of the table along with rivals Real Madrid, and so they can’t afford any slip-ups with Zinedine Zidane’s men in action on Sunday night.
Things have started well for Quique Setien since he replaced Ernesto Valverde, with Barcelona securing wins over Granada and Ibiza in the league and Copa del Rey respectively.
It hasn’t been entirely convincing as of yet given the close scorelines, but with the possession stats up, it’s clear that the players are starting to settle into the new coach’s philosophy and ideas on how he wants them to play.
Three points are crucial this weekend though, and as seen in the club’s tweet below, they’ve unsurprisingly named a strong squad for the encounter.
All the usual suspects are included with Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann set to lead the charge, but there are absences which the reigning La Liga champions have explained.
As per the club’s site, Neto has joined long-term absentees Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele on the sidelines with an injury, while Moussa Wague and Carles Perez have been left out for technical reasons by Setien.
With that in mind, that would perhaps explain the decision to leave the duo out, and so it remains to be seen if they do indeed seal exits before the end of the month.
For Barcelona though, they’ll be focused on the task in hand and there is still more than enough quality and experience to get all three points this weekend. That said, it certainly won’t be easy against Valencia at the Mestalla.
The 1??8?? for the trip to Valencia!
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— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) January 24, 2020