Ernesto Valverde opted for a fairly classic line-up against Alaves but surprised us by putting Sergi Roberto in ahead of Coutinho. The idea that the coach has this season is to keep more players ready to play and able to help the team. Last year between 13 and 15 were used regularly. Andre Goems, Lucas Digne and Yerry Mina have goen, four others have arrived and they are expected to feature more.
The objective is to try and win it all. As Messi says, the Champions League is the prime objective, but to win it Barca have to be shining in domestic competitions too. Valverde has all positions doubled up, has versatile players like Sergi Roberto, Coutinho and Rakitic, and other new ingredients like Arturo Vidal. Rotations could arrive as soon as Saturday against Valladolid at the Jose Zorrilla.
LENGLET AND MALCOM WAIT
Neither Clement Lenglet or Malcom made their league debut against Alaves and they must wait, perhaps until next Saturday at Valladolid. The Frenchman could come in to give rest to one of Pique or Umtiti, while Ousmane Dembele may be switched out for Malcom.