TEAM NEWS: Alves, Mascherano & Thiago start for Barca against Valladolid

The Blaugrana make three changes to the side which routed Atletico Madrid last weekend as they seek to restore their nine-point advantage at the summit of the standings
Dani Alves, Javier Mascherano and Thiago Alcantara all start for Barcelona in Saturday evening's Liga meeting with Valladolid.

The Brazilian has completely recovered from the hamstring strain which restricted him to the role of substitute against Atletico Madrid last weekend and reclaims his right-back berth from Adriano, who misses out through injury.

Mascherano takes over from club captain Carles Puyol at the heart of the defence, while Thiago fills in for Andres Iniesta in midfield.

As for the hosts, Lluis Sastre gets the nod ahead of Alvaro Rubio alongside Victor Perez at the base of Valladolid's midfield.

Valladolid: Dani; Rukavina, Sereno, Valiente, Balenziaga; Sastre, Victor, Perez; Omar, Oscar, Bueno; Manucho.

Substitutes: Jaime, Neira, Baraja, Guerra, Pena, Rubio, Ruben Pena

Barcelona: Valdes; Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Alba; Xavi Busquets, Thiago; Pedro, Messi, Alexis.

Substitutes: Puyol, Villa, Iniesta, dos Santos, Pinto, Montoya, Tello