|Paco Alcácer in training ahead of Malaga game | Image: FCB
Club football is back after a hectic two weeks of international break. FC Barcelona continue their defence of La Liga by hosting Malaga at the Camp Nou in a bid to dethrone Real Madrid at the summit of the table.
The game is going to be a difficult one, but Luis Enrique is preparing and has named 18 players in the team’s squad to face Juande Ramos’ Malaga side in their 12th Liga game of the 2016/2017 season.
The big boost for Barça and Luis Enrique is the return of star men Gérard Piqué and Jordi Alba to the squad after they all missed the last games through one injury or the other. They both feature in the squad for the game but Andrés Iniesta is still out injured despite resuming light training.
The only major injury blow for Barça aside from Iniesta is the absence of on-form defender Samuel Umtiti. The Frenchman who has been great for Barça this season picked up an injury while in training with the France national team and he will be out for the next three weeks which means he’s very likely to miss the first Clásico of the season.
Aleix Vidal also makes the squad but Jérémy Mathieu didn’t through injury and is replaced by Barça B defender Marlon Santos.
Star striker Luis Suárez is also out of the squad list after he picked up his fifth yellow card of the season against Sevilla, ruling him out of the Malaga game through suspension. Paco Alcácer will start against the visitors as he aims to score his first goal for the club.
BARÇA SQUAD VS MALAGA
Goalkeepers: Marc André Ter Stegen, Jasper Cillessen;
Defenders: Sergi Roberto, Aleix Vidal, Gérard Piqué, Javier Mascherano, Marlon Santos, Lucas Digne, Jordi Alba;
Midfielders: Iván Rakitic, André Gomes, Sergio Busquets, Arda Turan, Denis Suárez, Rafinha Alcántara;
Forwards: Lionel Messi, Neymar, Paco Alcácer