Barcelona

Barcelona arrives Mallorca after confirming squad

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The list of Barcelona players that would be available for the Balearic Islands trip has been released.

In their quest to retain the La Liga, Barcelona will be visiting the home ground of Mallorca to secure the maximum point and put further pressure on the closest rival, Real Madrid, that is two points behind.

The game had returned to Spain on Thursday after almost three months of non-action due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The following players called up by Barcelona coach Quique Setién includes star player Lionel Messi who was in doubt to be fit for the encounter alongside Luis Suarez, who also returned from a long injury layoff. The Uruguayan has been out of action since January. His long lay off which was expected to be till summer before the coronavirus pandemic made Barcelona to be involved in the emergency signing of Martin Braithwaite.

See the full list below.

Marc-André ter Stegen, 13. Neto, 26. Iñaki Peña. 2. Nélson Semedo, 3. Gerard Piqué, 18. Jordi Alba, 23. Samuel Umtiti, 24. Junior Firpo, 33. Ronald Araujo, Midfielders: 4. Ivan Rakitic, 5. Sergio Busquets, 8. Arthur Melo, 20. Sergi Roberto, 21. Frenkie De Jong, 22. Arturo Vidal, 28. Riqui Puig, 30. Álex Collado, 42. Monchu,  9. Luis Suárez, 10. Lionel Messi, 17. Antoine Griezmann, 19. Martin Braithwaite, 31. Ansu Fati.

With the new rules of substitution that allow 12 active players to be on the bench, it means everyone making the trip will be available to play. The players out of the list include Clément Lenglet (suspended) and Ousmane Dembélé (hamstring).

Predicted Starting line up for Barcelona and Mallorca

From the list released, it is predicted that the starting line up will have Ter Stegen in goal; Roberto, Piqué, Umtiti, Alba will form a four-man defense partnership; while  Arthur, Busquets, and De Jong will handle the middle of the park. As Suarez returns, he is predicted to go straight into the starting line up and form a striking partnership with Messi, Suárez, and Griezmann as usual.

The match is scheduled for today at 10 pm CET (Barcelona), 9 pm BST/WAT (UK & Nigeria). 4 pm ET, 1 pm PT (USA), 1.30 am IST (India, Sunday).

For Mallorca, the hosts are expected to counter Barcelona’s usual 4-3-3 formation with a 4-4-2. Reina is expected to be in goal while Pozo, Valjent, Raíllo, and will try to stop Barca’s trident from scoring. Gámez; Rodríguez, Salva S, and Baba, are expected to do the dirty job in the midfield by outmuscling the visitors in the middle of the pack while  Budimir and Hernández handle the duty in the final third.

As at the time of filing this report, Barcelona has landed in Mallorca via airplane.