Barcelona team news: Coutinho starts as Messi dropped vs Espanyol

Barcelona team news: Coutinho starts as Messi dropped vs Espanyol

Lionel Messi has been ignored of the Barcelona beginning XI for Saturday’s conflict with Espanyol, whereas Philippe Coutinho begins for the league leaders.

The Argentine star takes his place on the bench for Ernesto Valverde’s La Liga leaders after taking part in the total 90 minutes in Thursday’s 1-Zero win over Valencia within the Copa del Rey.

Coutinho, in the meantime, who got here off the bench in opposition to Los Che, makes simply his second begin in La Liga following his January transfer from Liverpool.

He companions the returning Paulinho, Sergio Busquets and Andres Iniesta in midfield, whereas Ivan Rakitic drops to the bench.

Paco Alcacer can also be included from the beginning after approaching as a sub in every of the final two video games and companions Luis Suarez in assault.

Their hosts, Espanyol, have made three modifications to the aspect that beat Leganes in La Liga final week.

Attacker Sergio Garcia drops to the bench alongside defenders Oscar Duarte and Mario Hermoso, whereas Jose Manuel Jurado, Sergi Darder and Naldo are drafted in to the primary crew.

Barcelona are sitting fairly on the prime of the desk forward of the derby sport, holding an 11-point lead over Atletico Madrid, who face third-placed Valencia later within the day.

Espanyol, then again, are 15th and have did not win of their final three league matches.

XI#EspanyolBarçapic.twitter.com/d2ajSOPxIt— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) February four, 2018

Espanyol XI: Diego Lopez, Navarro, Naldo, Aaron, Victor Sanchez, David Lopez, Darder, Jurado, Leo Baptistao, Granero, Gerard

Subs: Pau Lopez, Duarte, Sanchez, Garcia, Melendo, Javi Lopez, Hermoso.

Barcelona XI: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Umtiti, Pique, Digne; Busquets, Paulinho, Iniesta, Coutinho; Suarez, Alcacer.

Subs: Cillessen, Rakitic, Denis Suarez, Messi, Alba, Sergi Roberto, Yerry Mina.