thumbnail Hello,

Just three days before the Catalans meet their fierce rivals in the first leg of the sides' Copa del Rey quarter-final tie, vital league points are at stake at Camp Nou on Sunday

Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola has opted for an attacking 3-4-3 line-up for Sunday's La Liga clash at home to Betis.

Barca need to win to close the gap on eternal enemies Real Madrid - who overcame Mallorca 2-1 on Saturday - to five points ahead of the sides' Copa del Rey meeting on Wednesday.

Xavi plays his 400th league game for the Catalan club, while midfield team-mate Sergio Busquets reaches a century of Primera Division games since making his debut in September 2008.

They are joined by Andres Iniesta and Cesc Fabregas in the centre of the park, while Isaac Cuenca starts in attack alongside Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi and Alexis Sanchez.

Victor Valdes starts on his 30th birthday, but Gerard Pique, Thiago and Dani Alves are all left on the bench.

For Betis, Benat is sidelined but Salva Sevilla returns from injury, while Roque Santa Cruz has to be content with a place on the bench.

Barcelona (4-3-3):  Valdes; Puyol, Mascherano, Abidal; Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta, Cesc; Cuenca, Alexis, Messi.

Subs: Pinto, Thiago, Adriano, Alves, Dos Santos, Sergi Roberto, Pique.

Betis: (4-4-2): Casto; Isidoro, Nacho, Mario, Dorado; Canas, Iriney, Salva Sevilla, Jefferson; Ruben, Jorge Molina

Subs: Fabricio, Matilla, Juanma, Ustaritz, Santa Cruz, Sergio, Jonathan Pereira.

Related