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We all know what happened on Tuesday, but there is time enough for Barça to plan for what would be a historic comeback on March 8. In the meantime there is the no small matter of four league fixtures, starting with the first ever visit to the Camp Nou of top flight newcomersLeganés (Sunday 19 at 8.45pm CET).
As well as Aleix Vidal being out with a long-term ankle injury, Javier Mascherano is recovering from a hamstring injury. The Argentinian was back on the training ground on Friday, but has not yet received full medical clearance. Arda Turan, was able to train normally but hasn't been included in the squad announced this morning. Barça B's Aleñá has been called into the squad whilst Jordi Masip has been left out by the Asturian coach.
Therefore, the final match day squad of 18 players looks like this: Ter Stegen, Cillessen, Piqué, Rakitic, Denis Suárez, A.Iniesta, Suárez, Messi, Neymar Jr, Rafinha, Paco Alcácer, Jordi Alba, Digne, Sergi Roberto, André Gomes, Umtiti, Mathieu and Aleñá (28).
Leganés, who signed no fewer than seven players during the transfer window, are without the injured Ibanez, Serantes, Kone and Timor and the suspended Ruben Perez.
Speaking ahead of the game, FCB coach Luis Enrique commented that “Leganés have many different facets, not only on the tactical side, but that they have different types of individuals which can cause problems … I’m not sure which Leganés we will encounter, but they normally pressure high up the field.”
His counterpart Asier Garitano was also unsure what to expect from his opponent following what he described as an unexpectedly heavy defeat to PSG. “Their morale might be low” he said. “That happens when you lose. But our morale is low as well after losing to Sporting. We’ve both just suffered important losses.”
There have been ups and downs, and Tuesday was certainly one of the latter, but in LaLiga Barça are currently on a 15-match winning streak (scoring 19 goals and conceding just one in the last five) and are also through to the Copa del Rey Final.
Contrast that with Leganés who are winless in twelve games in all competitions and have failed to score in five of their least six league outings. After a promising start to 2016/17 it’s been a downhill slide ever since and they’re now just one place above relegation.
There’s very little in the way of history between these sides. This is their first ever clash at the Camp Nou after they met for the first time at Butarque in the fourth game of the current Liga season.
Barça won that game 5-1 with goals from Leo Messi (2), Luis Suárez, Neymar Jr and Rafinha. Gabriel got the consolation for the ‘cucumber growers’.
No matter where you are in the world we have you covered. You can also listen to live commentary streamed in English on Radio Barça, as well as follow our minute-by-minute updates on FC Barcelona's official English language Twitter account as the action unfolds.
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