Jeremy Mathieu replaces the suspended Gerard Pique for Barcelona’s Champions League last-16 second leg against Arsenal this evening.
Pique picked up his fifth yellow card in the competition during Barca’s 2-0 win at the Emirates Stadium three weeks ago, and Mathieu – as opposed to former Gunner Thomas Vermaelen and Marc Bartra – is the player entrusted with filling his teammate’s void.
Other than that, it’s a full-strength XI named by Luis Enrique, with cup goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen starting between the sticks and the ‘MSN’ of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar all up top.
Arsenal, meanwhile, vowed to make “the impossible possible” in Catalonia, yet the likes of Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud are sacrificed for teenage winger Alex Iwobi and peripheral midfielder Mathieu Flamini – who conceded a penalty in the first leg.
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Alves, Mascherano, Mathieu, Alba; Busquets, Rakitic, Iniesta; Messi, Suarez, Neymar
Subs: Bravo, Arda, Bartra, Munir, Sergi, Vidal, Vermaelen
Arsenal: Ospina; Bellerin, Koscielny, Gabriel, Monreal; Flamini, Elneny; Iwobi, Ozil, Alexis; Welbeck
Subs: Macey, Mertesacker, Gibbs, Coquelin, Campbell, Walcott, Giroud
Referee: Karasev [RUS]