The ex-Arsenal star will partner Iniesta and Messi up front for the Catalans, while the Brazilians drop Elano for extra defensive stability the Club World Cup finalCesc Fabregas has been preferred to Alexis Sanchez as Barcelona's replacement for the injured David Villa, as the Spanish giants bring back their established starters for the final of the Club World Cup against Santos.
The ex-Arsenal man is one of five new faces in the Blaugrana team, after Pep Guardiola opted to make changes for the side's 4-0 semi-final victory over Al Sadd on Thursday. Dani Alves, Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Sergio Busquets all return to first-team action after being rested for the first clash.
Santos coach Muricy Ramalho makes just one change from the side which overcame Kashiwa Reysol in the semi-final. Veteran full back Leo comes back into the team for Elano and moves to the left flank. This means Durval, who played as a stop-gap out wide against the Japanese, moves back in to the middle to resume his partnership with Edu Dracena, while Bruno Rodrigo completes a three man central defence.
Barcelona (4-3-3): Valdes; Dani Alves, Puyol, Pique, Abidal; Busquets, Xavi, Thiago; Iniesta, Messi, Fabregas.
Santos (5-3-2): Rafael; Danilo, Edu Dracena, Durval, Leo; Henrique, Arouca, Ganso; Neymar, Borges.
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