Sergi Roberto and Jordi Alba are ready for a return to action when Barcelona host Manchester City tonight (19 October), having been included in Luis Enrique's 21-man squad. Lionel Messi is also fully fit for the Champions League clash after returning from injury at the weekend, but back-up keeper Jasper Cillessen remains on the sidelines. Three further players will be ruled out prior to the game, to make the final list of 18.
The two Spain international full-backs missed the weekend's 4-0 victory over Deportivo la Coruna after picking up injuries on international duty.
Luis Enrique was forced to switch to a 3-4-3 formation, with Aleix Vidal out of favour since Barcelona's defeat to Alaves on 10 September. Gerard Pique, Javier Mascherano and Jeremy Mathieu consequently formed a three-man backline while Arda Turan and Lucas Digne were deployed at wing-back.
Sergio Busquets, Ivan Rakitic, Rafinha Alcantara, Luis Suarez and Neymar completed the line-up, with Messi coming on in the second half following three weeks out. He proved his fitness by scoring the fourth goal of the game, just two minutes after replacing Busquets. Captain Andrés Iniesta was rested ahead of the Manchester City encounter.
Barcelona have rotated their squad during the current campaign, but with Sergi Roberto and Alba back Luis Enrique is expected to field his gala XI in a 4-3-3 formation against Pep Guardiola's boys.
"Only injured goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen misses out on the 21-man list, but three of those names will have to be dropped in order to form the definitive eighteen required by UEFA regulations," Barcelona confirmed ahead of the game with Manchester City. "With that in mind the squad currently stands as follows: Ter Stegen, Masip, Piqué, Rakitic, Sergio, Denis Suárez, Arda, Iniesta, Suárez, Messi, Neymar Jr, Rafinha, Mascherano, Paco Alcácer, Jordi Alba, Digne, Sergi Roberto, André Gomes, Aleix Vidal, Umtiti and Mathieu."
Mathieu and Digne are expected to make space for the two Spanish full-backs in the line-up, while the only major question is whether Samuel Umtiti or Javier Mascherano will partner Gerard Pique in the heart of defence. The Frenchman looked to have won the battle for the spot earlier in the season, but has missed the last five games due to injury. However, he made the bench against Deportivo and some reports suggests he could be selected ahead of the former Liverpool star as his side attempt to shackle Sergio Aguero.
Iniesta and Messi are also tipped to return to the starting line-up ahead of Rafinha and Turan, even though the Brazil international scored a brace during the victory over Deportivo.
On the other side, Guardiola will also have most of his players to face his former side, with Bacary Sagna and Fabian Delph the only noticeable absentees.