BARCELONA (Sporting Alert) — Barcelona will look to return to the top of Spanish La Liga table standings with a win over Elche at the Camp Nou on Sunday.
The defending champions are currently in second place, three points behind Atletico Madrid, which won their game on Saturday to go top of the standings with 49 points.
Lionel Messi has returned to training but the Argentine forward is still not ready to return to action, while Neymar, retuning from an extended rest, is only on the bench.
Alexis Sanchez, Cesc Fabregas and the Arsenal and Liverpool linked Pedro all start in the attack, while Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Alex Song play in midfield.
Victor Valdes is back in goal, with the likes of Carles Puyol, Javier Mascherano and Cristian Tello all on the bench.
Elche sits 15th in La Liga standings with 17 points and could do with a win, but this one seems quite unlikely on paper. The struggling Elche has lost its last three matches.
Barcelona: Valdes, Montoya, Pique, Bartra, Alba, Xavi, Iniesta, Song, Sanchez, Fabregas, Pedro.
Subs: Pinto, Puyol, Mascherano, Adriano, Sergi Roberto, Cristian Tello, Neymar.
Elche: Tono; Sapunaru, Botia, Lomban, Edu Albacar; Aaron Niguez, Sanchez, Ruben Perez, Fidel, Carles Gil; Boakye.
Subs: Mantecon, Manu, Javi Marquez, Sergio Pelegrin, Cisma, Cristian Herrera, Marc Martinez.