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Barcelona team news: Messi and Suarez start with Dembele and Coutinho on bench

22:51 EAT 01/03/2018
Lionel Messi Luis Suarez Barcelona
Despite having Atletico Madrid on Sunday, the pair will start in a rotated side against Las Palmas

Ernesto Valverde is rotating his side against Las Palmas but has handed Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez starts ahead of this weekend’s showdown with Atletico Madrid.

The La Liga leaders face off against the 18th place side in the table but then host Atletico, who sit just four points back of Barcelona.

With the Sunday showdown not far off, Valverde has decided to not use all of his top options for the visit to Las Palmas, with Gerard Pique the most notable name to begin the game on the bench.

Ivan Rakatic, who sits on 199 appearances, will have to wait until at least later today to secure his 200th run out for the club.

Likewise, big transfer signings Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho are sitting to start today’s contest.

But Valverde has dressed some of his stars for the contest, with most notably Messi and Suarez getting the start.

Suarez will have to be careful, however, as a yellow card will see him suspended for the match against Atletico.

Barcelona XI: Ter Stegen; Sergio, Umtiti, Vermaelen, Digne; Busquets, Paulinho, Iniesta; Vidal, Messi, Suarez

Barcelona subs: Cillessen, Pique, Rakitic, Dembele, Coutinho, Alcacer, Gomes