Tito Vilanova is all but decided on the starting line-up for his debut as Barcelona Coach, with just one position still to fill.
The 42-year-old was promoted from assistant Coach earlier in the summer to replace outgoing colleague Pep Guardiola. With just the one summer arrival on the pitch, in Jordi Alba, the projected Barca starting line-up for the team’s opening game of 2012-13 will have a familiar look to it.
Reportedly, Vilanova only has to decide between Cesc Fabregas and Pedro Rodriguez to take the final position in a three-man attack alongside Lionel Messi and Alexis Sanchez.
In defence, Carles Puyol is unlikely to be risked as he continues to gain full fitness after knee surgery, so Gerard Pique will be partnered by Javier Mascherano.
Barcelona kick off their League campaign on Sunday night at home to Real Sociedad.
Probable Barcelona XI: Valdes; Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Alba; Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta; Messi, Alexis, Pedro/Cesc