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Leo Messi will start against Borussia Mönchengladbach | MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

FC Barcelona host Borussia Mönchengladbach at the Camp Nou for the final game of the Champions League group stages with top spot already guaranteed.

Despite very little being on the line, a run of three matches without a win in all competitions means the Barça players, and manager, will be hungry for a victory.

Team news

Neymar Jr and Ivan Rakitic picked up third third yellow card of the Champions League campaign against Celtic on Matchday 5 and are therefore suspended for Tuesday’s game while Jérémy Mathieu is sidelined with a calf injury.

While Luis Enrique, confirmed during his pre-match press conference that Leo Messi would start, he has decided to rest Ter Stegen and Gerard Piqué. The one surprise in the squad is Barça B's Marc Cardona, who debuted with the first team against Hércules recently and could make his first European appearance if he gets on the pitch. 

Therefore, the final squad for tonight's game includes these players: Cillessen, Masip, Sergio, Denis, Arda, A.Iniesta, Suárez, Messi, Rafinha, Mascherano, Paco Alcácer, Jordi Alba, Digne, Sergi Roberto, André Gomes, Aleix Vidal, Umtiti and Cardona (29).

The German side also have their fate sealed, with third placed and thus passage to the Europa League confirmed, and it’s a good job too, as they have a number of players injured.

Patrick Hermann, Álvaro Domínguez and Mamadou Doucuré are all out while Marvin Schulz and Ibrahima Traoré are doubtful. Last Stindl will sit the game out due to suspension.

Coaches’ viewpoint

“This one’s to have fun with the fans,” said Luis Enrique at his Monday press conference. “We can use different players, rest others, and even try some different things on the field.”

"We have been almost perfect in the group stage and so tomorrow we will go out there to enjoy it at Camp Nou,” the boss added.

Borussia boss André Schubert stated: “I would be lying if I said it would be a normal game for me too," but went on to say that “it is Borussia's first game at Camp Nou, and I am proud to be there, and I'm really looking forward to the game - the situation in the Bundesliga is unimportant.”

Form

Barça have suffered an uncharacteristic laps in recent weeks, with just one win in their last five games across all competitions, which came in their previous Champions League game against Celtic (0-2).

But Barça’s blip looks pale in comparison to Borussia’s recent form, as they have not won a game since 25 October. They arrive at the Camp Nou on the back of a 4-1 defeat to Borussia Dortmund.

History

The match between the two sides at Borussia-Park  in late September was the first ever time the pair had met. Thorgan Hazard put the hosts ahead but goals from Arda Turan and Gerard Piqué in the second half gave Barça an important win.

Borussia’s record against Spanish sides is bleak, with just one win in ten games while Barça’s victory over Tuesday’s opponents was their first against a German team in five.

Coverage

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