TEAM NEWS: Messi starts for Barcelona as they name a strong line-up against Espanyol

The Catalan side have close to their full first-team squad at their disposal for their local clash this evening, with their Argentine talisman leading their attack
Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and Xavi are all named in Barcelona's starting XI for their Liga clash with Espanyol at Camp Nou this evening, as they look to continue their impressive unbeaten start to the season.

The Catalan giants have a near full-strength squad as they look to carry on where they left off before the winter break, with Isaac Cuenca and Eric Abidal the only two injured first-team players.

Gerard Pique and Carlos Puyol are both fully fit for the match tonight, and partner one another at centre-back, whil Dani Alves and Jordi Alba occupy the full-back positions.

In midfield Cesc Fabregas and Xavi slot in either side of Sergio Busquets, while Messi, Pedro and Iniesta form the Blaugrana's attacking three.

David Villa, who has been linked with a move away from the club in the January transfer window, has to make do with a place on the bench this evening.

Espanyol's first-choice goalkeeper Christian Alvarez failed a late fitness test, which means Kiko Casilla continues in goal for Javier Aguirre's men. The only other surprise in the away side's starting XI is the includion of Raul Baena in midfield ahead of Christian Alfonso.

Barcelona (4-3-3):
Valdes; Alves, Pique, Puyol, Alba; Xavi, Busquets, Cesc; Pedro, Messi, Iniesta

Subs: Pinto, Montoya, Mascherano, Song, Thiago, Alexis, Villa

Espanyol (4-2-3-1): Casilla; Lopez, Colotto, Moreno, Capdevila; Forlin, Sanchez; Verdu, Baena, Simao; García.

Subs: German, Rodriguez, Victor, Albin, Gomez, Alfonso, Stuani