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The inspirational central defender makes the starting XI for the first time since his serious elbow injury as the Catalan side welcome Manolo Jimenez's men to Catalunya

Barcelona captain Carles Puyol makes his return from injury this evening as the Catalan side face Real Zaragoza at Camp Nou in the Spanish Primera Division.

The Spain international has been out of action since suffering a dislocated shoulder against Benfica in the Champions League, but returns to the starting XI tonight and will partner Gerard Pique in central defence.

There is another slightly surprising selection by Barca coach Tito Vilanova as Martin Montoya starts at right-back in favour of Dani Alves, with the Brazilian having to settle for a place on the bench. The integral midfield trio of the hosts features Xavi, Alex Song and Andres Iniesta.

David Villa is rewarded for his current form by earning a start this evening. The former Valencia man has been in excellent form in the last few games and netted for Spain against Panama during the week. He will start on the left-hand side with Pedro and Lionel Messi making up the attacking frontline.

Zaragoza start the match without Portuguese striker Helder Postiga, who will start on the bench. Carlos Aranda has been preferred in the lone striker role for the visitors.


Barcelona (4-3-3): Valdes; Montoya, Pique, Puyol, Alba; Xavi, Song, Iniesta; Pedro, Messi, Villa

 

Zaragoza (4-2-3-1): Roberto; Zuculini, Goni, Alvaro, Paredes; Movilla, Pinter; Apono, Víctor, Montanes; Aranda

 


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