TEAM NEWS: Lionel Messi on bench for Barcelona for Deportivo clash

By Martin Macdonald
The Argentine has been rested for the Spanish Primera Division clash with Depor, as the Catalans ring the changes ahead of the Champions League clash with AC Milan this week

Barcelona assistant coach Jordi Roura has named Lionel Messi on the bench for the Catalan side’s Spanish Primera Division clash with Deportivo on Saturday evening.

The home side have a crucial Champions League encounter with AC Milan on the horizon, and will field a much-changed starting XI for the visit of Fernando Vazquez’s men.

As well as Messi, Andres Iniesta has also been rested, so Alexis Sanchez, Cristian Tello, and David Villa will make up the attacking front three of the hosts.

Xavi is still sidelined with a hamstring injury and Sergio Busquets is given a break, so Alex Song and Thiago come in to partner Cesc Fabregas in the middle of midfield. Victor Valdes and Gerard Pique are both suspended, so Jose Pinto and Javier Mascherano come into the first XI.

Ze Castro, Riki, and Kaka are all injured for Deportivo, and Carlos Marchena, which means that untested duo of Pablo Insua and Aythami begin at centre-back.

Juan Valeron, Bruno Gama, and Pizzi support Nelson Oliveira in attack for the visitors.


Barcelona (4-3-3): Pinto; Alves, Mascherano, Puyol, Adriano; Thiago, Song, Cesc; Alexis, Villa, Tello


Deportivo (4-2-3-1): Aranzubia; Silvio, Aythami, Insua, Manuel Pablo; Aguilar, Assunçao; Valeron, Pizzi, Gama; Oliveira.

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