New signing Arturo Vidal could be in line for his first La Liga start when Barcelona visit the Estadio Jose Zorrilla to take on Real Valladolid this weekend.
Barcelona will face off against newly promoted outfit Real Valladolid on Saturday night, as they look to make it two wins to two games in the 2018-19 La Liga season.
The reigning champions come into the game on the back of a impressive 3-0 victory over Deportivo Alaves this past weekend at Camp Nou, with goals coming from Lionel Messi and Philippe Coutinho. And they will be hoping to continue their winning start against Los Pucelanos.
Manager Ernesto Valverde confirmed the 18-man matchday squad for the weekend encounter on the eve of the game. Talented academy graduates Carles Alena and Sergi Samper are ruled out with injuries, along with Denis Suarez. Goalkeeper Jasper Cillesen also misses out, after picking up a rib injury in training earlier this week.
German international Marc-Andre ter Stegen is the undisputed choice in goal for the Catalans and should start between the sticks at the Jose Zorrilla.
Sergi Roberto is expected to slot in at right-back after having started in the centre of the park last weekend, which would mean Nelson Semedo drops out of the lineup. The ever-present Jordi Alba is a certainty to feature at left-back from the get go.
New signing Clement Lenglet has been included in the squad by the manager, but he is likely to have to wait for his Barcelona debut, with seasoned campaigner Gerard Pique and World Cup winner Samuel Umtiti expected to start in the heart of the defence.
Sergio Busquets is a guaranteed starter at the base of the three-man midfield for the La Liga title holders. Although there could be a couple of changes in the midfield, with Philippe Coutinho set to return to the starting XI after having been surprisingly left out by Valverde against Alaves.
Former Bayern Munich and Juventus star Arturo Vidal is in line to make his full league debut for the club, having signed for the Catalans this summer. Croatian World Cup hero Ivan Rakitic is expected to make way, after a rather rusty-looking performance in the last game.
Lionel Messi began the new season in typical fashion, inspiring his team to a win last weekend. He will once again look to lead his team by example and cause problems to the opposition from the right-flank.
Support will be provided by Ousmane Dembele from the opposite flank. The Frenchman has looked bright so far in the new season and will want to make a bigger impact than he did in his debut campaign.
There are concerns over the form of star striker Luis Suarez, who has struggled to get going since returning from international duties with Uruguay in the summer. However, with fellow forward Paco Alcacer not included in the squad amid uncertainties over his future at the club, the former Liverpool man remains Valverde’s go-to man at the tip of the attack.