Neymar Jr is out of the first league match against Elche. Despite progressing well from his ankle injury, he won’t be fit enough to take part in tonight’s match. He joins a long list of missing faces including Ter Stegen, Vermaelen and Adriano (injury) plus Piqué and Luis Suárez (suspended). Meanwhile, there’s no place for Song. The positive note is the return of Pedro.
The manager has also found places in his first league squad for Sandro and Munir but Samper will have to wait a little longer.
The full list is as follows: Bravo, Masip, Montoya, Bartra, Alves, Mathieu, Mascherano, Alba, Sergio, Xavi, Iniesta, Rakitic, Sergi Roberto, Rafinha, Pedro, Munir, Messi and Sandro