Messi & Neymar benched for Atletico clash

The Argentine and Brazilian will both start from the bench as the Catalans take on Diego Simeone's men at the Vicente Calderon
Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino has somewhat surprisingly opted to bench Lionel Messi and Neymar for Saturday's La Liga clash away against Atletico Madrid.

The Catalans will instead start with Alexis Sanchez, Pedro and Cesc Fabregas up front, while Dani Alves, Gerard Pique and Jordi Alba all return in defence.

Xavi, meanwhile, has gotten the nod in midfield again after missing out against Getafe in their midweek Copa del Rey tie.

For Atletico, star striker Diego Costa partners up with David Villa, who meets his former team-mates after leaving Barcelona at the start of the season.

Atletico Madrid: Courtois; Juanfran, Godin, Miranda, Filipe Luis; Tiago, Gabi, Koke, Arda; Villa, Diego Costa

Barcelona: Valdes; Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Jordi Alba; Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta; Pedro, Fabregas, Alexis.