fc barcelona
Gerard Pique will miss the game against Arsenal due to suspension. Getty.

Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar are ready to lead Barcelona in the Champions League second-leg clash with Arsenal, after Luis Enrique named an 18-man squad devoid of any major surprises. The suspended Gerard Pique is the most obvious absentee, alongside injured duo Rafinha Alcantara and Sandro Ramirez. Jordi Masip, Douglas and Adriano also miss out. Meanwhile, Arda Turan and Marc Bartra have both been included after missing the first leg at the Emirates Stadium.

The Champions League holders face the Gunners with a 2-0 advantage from the first leg, after Messi beat Petr Cech twice last month. Luis Enrique will be able to deploy a similar line-up to that night as all starters from the previous fixture, with the exception of Pique, are available. The Barcelona centre-back was booked late in that win, with some suggesting he deliberately earned a suspension so he could guarantee his presence in the quarter-finals.


Having been left out of the first leg for technical reasons, Bartra returns to the squad to address Pique's absence. However, Jeremy Mathieu looks the main candidate to start alongside Javier Mascherano in the centre of defence, with former Arsenal star Thomas Vermaelen also in contention for the spot.

Arda Turan, who missed the game at the Emirates Stadium due to suspension, is also back in the Barcelona squad. However, Luis Enrique is expected to leave him on the bench, with Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta and Ivan Rakitic making the midfield in a 4-3-3 formation as they did at North London.

Marc-Andre ter Stegen will retain his spot as the preferred goalkeeper for the Champions League, while Dani Alves and Jordi Alba are expected to play at full-back.

Barcelona arrive at the game following a 6-0 victory over Getafe on Saturday, which extended their unbeaten run to 37 games. The manager rested Busquets, Suarez, Alves and Rakitic in that game to have them fresh for the Champions League encounter.

Barcelona 18-man squad to face Arsenal:

Ter Stegen, Bravo, Rakitic, Sergio, Alves, Arda Turan, A.Iniesta, Suárez, Messi, Neymar Jr, Mascherano, Bartra, Munir, Jordi Alba, Sergi Roberto, Aleix Vidal, Vermaelen y Mathieu.