Just over 24 hours before the 2018/19 LaLiga season kicks off for FC Barcelona, coach Ernesto Valverde named his squad for the Saturday night showdown against Deportivo Alavés (22:15h CET).
The 18 players chosen by Valverde, who begins his second campaign in the dugout with the reigning champions, are: Ter Stegen, N. Semedo, Piqué, I. Rakitic, Sergio, Coutinho, Arthur, Suárez, Messi, Dembélé, Rafinha, Cillessen, Malcom, Lenglet, Jordi Alba, S. Roberto, Vidal and Umtiti. Aleñá and Denis Suárez are not available due to injury, whilst Paco Alcácer, Munir, Vermaelen and Samper are left out for tactical reasons.
Games in recent weeks have prepared Barça well for this weekend's encounter. In the past few days they have won the Spanish Super Cup against Sevilla, as well as lifting the Gamper with a victory over Boca Juniors.
A final session before the curtain raiser
On Friday afternoon, the available players were given a final training session on Pitch 7 of the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper. Barça B player Ezkeita joined the first team group for the workout.
Source: FC Barcelona