Preview: Leganes-Barca

Thomas Vermalen could be a surprise starter for Barcelona when they resume their Liga campaign at Leganes on Saturday.

Javier Mascherano is facing a month out after pulling up with a hamstring injury while representing Argentina during the international break, while Gerard Pique and Samuel Umtiti are a yellow card away from one-match bans.

Consequently, Vermaelen is in line to make his first appearance of the season at Butarque, with Coach Ernesto Valverde talking up the Belgian’s chances before the game.

However, Arda Turan, Rafinha, Sergi Roberto, Andre Gomes and Ousmane Dembele remain on the treatment table.

Leganes, meanwhile, went from having La Liga’s joint-best defence alongside Barca to shipping five goals in their last two games, both of which ended in defeat.

“We’re going to suffer a lot because we’re playing against the best,” boss Asier Garitano said at a Press conference.

“We have to suffer a lot because they’re an incredibly good team, and we’ll suffer to see if there’s any happiness in store for us when the game ends.

“If we face them with the intention of enjoying ourselves, they’ll put five or six past us.

“This was our second home game last game. We went to try a few things out and see if we had the audacity of matching up to one of the best teams in the world.

“It was crazy, but I hope we give a better account of ourselves this time around.”

Watford loanee Nordin Amrabat is Lega’s only doubt after he returned from helping Morocco qualify for the World Cup with a knock.

Leganes (probable): Cuellar; Zaldua, Munoz, Siovas, Raul Garcia; Ruben, Eraso; El Zhar, Gabriel, Szymanowski; Beauvue

Injuries/suspensions: Omar, Serantes (I)

Barcelona (probable): Ter Stegen; Semedo, Pique, Vermaelen, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Iniesta; Deulofeu, Messi, Suarez

Injuries/suspensions: Arda, Rafinha, Sergi Roberto, Gomes, Mascherano, Dembele (I)

Referee: Undiano Mallenco

Form guide: Leganes – 9th (L L W W D) Barca – 1st (W W W D W)

Previous meeting: Barca 2-1 Leganes

Venue: Butarque

Kick-off time: 15:15 BST/16:15 CET (LIVE on Football Espana)