Barcelona captain Andres Iniesta ruled out of Spanish Super Cup trip to Real Madrid

Eduardo Fernandez-Abascal
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Barcelona captain Andres Iniesta has been ruled out of the Spanish Super Cup second leg against Real Madrid on Wednesday (16 August) after sustaining a muscle injury in his right leg. Thomas Vermaelen and Rafinha Alcantara also remain on the sidelines while Arda Turan, Marlon Santos, Sergi Samper, Munir and Douglas have also been left out of Ernesto Valverde's 19-man squad due to technical reasons.

The Catalans travel to the Santiago Bernabeu with hope to overturn the humiliating 3-1 defeat suffered at the Nou Camp on Sunday [13 August].

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Iniesta made the starting line-up in the first leg after being selected alongside Sergio Busquets and Ivan Rakitic to shape the midfield in Valverde's 4-3-3 formation. However, the captain was replaced in the second half by Sergi Roberto and will be unavailable when Barcelona visit Real.

The second El Clasico of the season will also come too early for Vermaelen and Rafinha - with the latter having been out of action since undergoing a knee operation in April.

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"Rafinha and Vermaelen miss out through injury and Andrés Iniesta, joins them on the sidelines due to a muscle injury in his right leg," Barcelona have confirmed. "Arda Turan, Marlon, Samper, Munir and Douglas have been left out by the coach."

Turan, Samper, Munir and Douglas already missed the first leg in a clear indication that the quartet don't feature in Valverde's plans.

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Marlon, meanwhile, only joined Barcelona this summer after the Catalans activated an option to secure his services from Fluminense after he impressed on loan with the second team during the 2016-2017 campaign. The Brazilian starlet is expected to serve as the fourth choice centre-back in the coming season but will also miss the game as Valverde also has Gerard Pique, Samuel Umtiti and Javier Mascherano available to face Real.

Paulinho is still unavailable after the new signing only completed his move to Barcelona earlier this week, meaning that Nelson Semedo and Gerard Deulofeu are the only two summer additions included in the squad to face Los Blancos.

Furthermore, Andre Gomes and academy starlet Carle Aleña return to the squad to cover the gap left by Iniesta after the duo missed Sunday's defeat.

Valverde is aware of the challenge but backed his squad to secure a massive victory at the Bernabeu and claim their first trophy of the season.

"We maintain our idea of going there and winning the game and taking the title, we are not beaten. In spite of the fact that it will be tough, we have a chance and we will go for it," Valverde said in the press conference ahead of the visit to Real Madrid. "We have to go forward but also control their counter attacks, they are specialists in that."

Barcelona 19-man squad to face Real Madrid

Ter Stegen, Cillessen, Semedo, Piqué, Rakitic, Sergio, Denis Suárez, Suárez, Messi, Mascherano, Deulofeu, Paco Alcácer, Jordi Alba, Digne, Sergi Roberto, André Gomes, Aleix Vidal, Umtiti and Aleña.

Andres Iniesta

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