Mar 18, 2018 at 3.15pm UK at ​Camp Nou (Barcelona)
Attendance: 84,053
Barcelona
2-0
Athletic Bilbao
Alcacer (8'), Messi (30')
Umtiti (17'), Dembele (39')
FT(HT: 2-0)

Garcia (31'), Lekue (40')

Team News: Paco Alcacer handed rare league start for visit of Athletic Bilbao

Team News: Alcacer handed rare league start
© SilverHub
Paco Alcacer takes over from the suspended Luis Suarez for Barcelona's home league match against Athletic Bilbao.

Paco Alcacer has been handed a rare La Liga start in the absence of Luis Suarez for Barcelona's home match against Athletic Bilbao this afternoon.

The 24-year-old fills the void left by the suspended Suarez, who picked up his sixth yellow card of the season in the 2-0 win over Malaga last weekend.

Alcacer is used from the off for just the seventh time in the league this term, and for the first time in more than a month, as he joins Lionel Messi and Ousmane Dembele in the forward line.

There is also a place in the matchday squad for Carles Alena after being promoted from the B side for this contest, joining the likes of Andres Iniesta and Andre Gomes on the bench.

Elsewhere, Philippe Coutinho returns to the starting lineup having been cup-tied for the midweek win over Chelsea in the Champions League, taking a place in midfield alongside Ivan Rakitic and Paulinho.

In terms of the visitors, who trail Barcelona by 37 points, they are without forward Iker Muniain, midfielder Mikel Rico and defender Yeray Alvarez due to injury.

Sabin Merino will lead the attack for Athletic in Catalonia, seeking a first goal in his 13th outing of the campaign - nine of those being from the bench.

Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Sergi Roberto, Pique, Umtiti, Alba; Rakitic, Paulinho, Coutinho; Dembele, Alcacer, Messi
Subs: Cillessen, Iniesta, Digne, Andre Gomes, Aleix Vidal, Yerry Mina, Alena

Athletic Bilbao: Arrizabalaga; Lekue, Nunez, Martinez, Saborit; Benat, San Jose, De Marcos, Garcia, Susaeta; Merino
Subs: Iago Herrerin, Iturraspe, Williams, Etxeita, Aduriz, Vesga, Cordoba

Follow all of the action as it unfolds at Camp Nou with Sports Mole's live text coverage right here.

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Barcelona forward Lionel Messi celebrates scoring during his side's Champions League group game against Juventus at the Camp Nou on September 12, 2017
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CBarcelona38289199297093
2Atletico MadridAtletico382310558223679
3Real Madrid382210694445076
4Valencia38227965382773
5Villarreal38187135750761
6Real Betis38186146061-160
7Sevilla38177144958-958
8Getafe381510134233955
9EibarEibar38149154450-651
10GironaGirona38149155059-951
11Espanyol381213133642-649
12Real Sociedad38147176659749
13Celta Vigo381310155960-149
14AlavesAlaves38152214050-1047
15Levante381113144458-1446
16Athletic Bilbao381013154149-843
17Leganes38127193451-1743
RDeportivo La CorunaDeportivo38611213876-3829
RLas PalmasLas Palmas3857262474-5022
RMalaga3855282461-3720

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