Welcome to our live coverage of Barcelona vs Leganés bringing you all of the action as it unfolds in Camp Nou as LaLiga Santander enters Week 23. Kick-off: 20:45 (CET) in Barcelona.
Preview: Barcelona vs Leganés: LaLiga Santander week 23
A Barcelona side licking their wounds welcome Leganés to Camp Nou as they attempt to put the defeat to PSG in the Champions League behind them. The visitors arrive in 17th place and glancing nervously over their shoulders at the drop zone.
Barcelona XI: 1.Ter Stegen 4.Rakitic 9.Suárez 10.Messi 11.Neymar 12.Rafinha 19.Digne 20.S.Roberto 21.André Gomes 23.Umtiti 24.Mathieu.
Leganés XI: Herrerín, Tito, Mantovani, Siovas, Rico, Morán, A. Martín, El Zhar, Gabriel, Szymanowski, Guerrero
Squad news: Barcelona
Luis Enrique included La Masia starlet Carles Aleñá in his squad for the game in the absence of the suspended Sergio Busquets. Arda Turan and Javier Mascherano miss out through injury while Aleix Vidal is along-term absentee, leading Barcelona to trawl the loan market for an emergency replacement.
It has been a tough week for Luis Enrique’s side who after being soundly beaten 4-0 in Paris will be looking to consolidate their position in the domestic tournament in their pursuit of Real Madrid. Enrique was put under the microscope after the Paris humiliation and will have to pick his side up and restore some solidity to the midfield, which a key element of his side’s style of play. Enrique will therefore restore Ivan Rakitic to the side after the failed experiment of playing André Gomes there after the Portugal international’s disappointing showing against PSG. Barcelona are also under considerable pressure from Sevilla, who are chasing down second place and are just two points behind going into the weekend’s action but could have leapfrogged Barça by kick-off in Camp Nou.
Despite the Paris debacle, Barcelona have been in decent form in the league and thrashed Alavés 6-0 last time out in a dress rehearsal for the cup final. Enrique will have to contend without two of key players, Javier Mascherano and Sergio Busquets, both of whom are suspended.
AS player to watch: Leo Messi
Barcelona will look to their talisman once again to make the difference.
Asier Garitano’s side arrive in Barcelona after the dispiriting defeat against Sporting, a direct relegation rival, in Butarque last weekend. The Cucumber Growers face the prospect of ending the weekend in the bottom three depending on results elsewhere and against are up against a Barcelona side looking to quell growing unrest.
Leganés are on a run of 10 games without a win but in spite of the panorama morale is high at the club as they have been steadily improving in recent weeks and look to have hit gold with some of their January acquisitions. One player who has stood out since signing last month is Alberto Bueno. Garitano will though have to do without Serantes, Ibáñez, Timor and Koné, who are injured, and Rubén Pérez, who is serving a suspension.
AS player to watch: Alberto Bueno
The new arrival had added a bit of class and accuracy to the attack and he will be fundamental to Leganés quest for survival.