|Neymar, Suarez, Messi in Barça squad vs Atleti|
FC Barcelona take on Atletico Madrid in the match of the week as they look to make it four wins out of five in La Liga and coach Luis Enrique has named a squad featuring 18 players to take on the Spanish giants.
Luis Enrique experimented with a 3-4-3 formation in Saturday’s 5-1 away win over newly-promoted Leganes but is unlikely to go with the same formation against Atletico Madrid. The Asturian coach has named a squad list of 18 players for the game and once again dropped out-of-favour right back Aleix Vidal from the team.
The former Sevilla man has failed to win the heart of Luis Enrique and the fans when given a chance and hasn’t been called up to face Atletico Madrid, giving Sergi Roberto a guaranteed starting berth. Vidal was left out in Barça’s last two games against Celtic and Leganes which has led to speculations that he’s seeking a transfer out of the club as he’s unhappy. The player’s last game for the club was against Alaves where he didn’t quite impressed as Barça lost 2-1 to the newly-promoted team.
Defender Samuel Umtiti also didn’t make the match squad after it was announced yesterday that he suffered a knee injury in training which ruled him out of the game which means the central defence partnership will definitely be Pique-Mascherano. The Frenchman has been a crucial force in Barça’s defence so far this season and has already won the hearts of Luis Enrique and the fans. Speculations suggest he will be out for at least two weeks which means he’ll miss three more Barça games.
Star midfielder Sergio Busquets returns to the squad after being kwfy out of the team that beat Leganes 5-1 on Saturday. The Spanish midfielder has been ever-present for Luis Enrique this season and was given the rest he deserved against Leganes. It is very certain that he will start in midfield alongside Ivan Rakitic and Andres Iniesta against Atleti.
Joining Sergio Busquets in the returnee list is new left back Lucas Digne. The Frenchman has impressed each time he was given a chance but wasn’t part of the squad that faced Leganes as he was dropped to give room for others, however, he’s returned to the team but is very unlikely to start ahead of Jordi Alba at left back for the game.
Apart from Aleix Vidal and Samuel Umtiti, goalkeeper Jordi Masip and midfielder Rafinha Alcantara were also left out of the squad.
FC BARCELONA SQUAD VS ATLETICO MADRID
Goalkeepers: Marc Andre Ter Stegen, Jasper Cillessen;
Defenders: Sergi Roberto, Gerard Pique, Javier Mascherano, Jeremy Mathieu, Jordi Alba, Lucas Digne;
Midfielders: Ivan Rakitic, Andre Gomes, Sergio Busquets, Arda Turan, Denis Suarez, Andres Iniesta;
Forwards: Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Paco Alcacer, Neymar.