Song to start, Cesc as false 9

Alex Song is seen as in contention to start for Barcelona against Ajax, ahead of a reshuffled back-line.

Barcelona are in the Netherlands this evening for the fifth matchday of the Champions League group stages aware that a point will guarantee top spot in Group H.

However, the Catalans face Ajax with a number of absentees, with the defence ahead of Jose Manuel Pinto speculated as listing Carles Puyol at right-back and Martin Montoya over at left-back, either side of Gerard Pique and Javier Mascherano.

It is understood that Song will start alongside Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta in midfield, handing a breather to Sergio Busquets, whilst Cesc Fabregas will occupy a ‘false 9’ position in attack, flanked by Neymar and Pedro Rodriguez.

Ajax are without Barca-owned Bojan Krkic and influential captain Siem de Jong through injury.

Probable starting line-ups

Ajax: Vermeer; Boilesen, Veltman, Van Rhijn, Blind; Serero, Poulsen, Klassen; Schone, Fischer, Hoesen

Barcelona: Pinto; Puyol, Pique, Mascherano, Montoya; Xavi, Song, Iniesta; Pedro, Fabregas, Neymar

Tags Ajax Busquets Fabregas Montoya Puyol Song