Barcelona will travel to face Viktoria Plzen this week in the Champions League in the knowledge that there is little to be gained. Already guaranteed a Europa League spot ahead of Viktoria, the result will not change their fate.
It is no surprise to see some star players rested as a result. At the weekend both Jules Kounde and Eric Garcia left the pitch against Valencia, sustaining muscle strains. They join Ronald Araujo, Andreas Christensen and Memphis Depay on the treatment table.
They form five of the seven first team players that will miss the trip. Veterans Sergio Busquets and Robert Lewandowski have been left out in order to rest. As Relevo point out, Lewandowski has played 90% of Barcelona’s minutes so far.
Four Barca Atletic players have been called up to fill out the squad. Marc Casado, Ilias Akhomach, Alvaro Sanz and Alex Valle have all been called up. Left-back Valle is the only one who has not been called up to the first team, while Casado could make his senior debut with Barcelona.