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Monday, February 19, 2018

Thomas Vermaelen returns as Barcelona's squad vs Chelsea is confirmed

Thomas Vermaelen has been named in the 21-man Barcelona squad that will travel to London to face Chelsea in the Champions League last-16 on Tuesday.
The defender had missed the past eight games for Barcelona with a muscle injury and has played just 14 times this season in all competitions.
There is also space in the squad for Ousmane Dembele who has been struggling with injury problems of his own since signing from Borussia Dortmund in the summer.
Dembele made his return to the Barcelona side that drew with Getafe last weekend but was only on the bench for Saturday's win over Eibar.
The Frenchman could, however, be in line to start at Stamford Bridge with Philippe Coutinho ineligible having already played in the Champions League this season for Liverpool.
Barcelona are also without full-back Nelson Semedo, who is suspended for yellow card accumulation, but new signing Yerry Mina is included.
The 21-man squad will travel to London on Monday morning ahead of their training session at Stamford Bridge in the evening.
The last-16 tie will be the 13th time the pair have faced each other in the Champions League and the first since the dramatic 2012 semi-finals which saw Chelsea go through to eventually win the competition.
Chelsea have a slightly better record of the 12 games to date, winning four to Barcelona's three (five draws).
Of the five knockout ties between the sides, however, Barcelona have emerged the victors on three occasions, including the first meeting when they overturned a 3-1 first-leg deficit to go through 6-4 on aggregate.
Barcelona squad vs Chelsea in full (via club's official site): Ter Stegen, Cillessen, Ortola, Pique, Rakitic, Sergio, Denis Suarez, Iniesta, Suarez, Messi, Dembele, Paulinho, Paco Alcacer, Jordi Alba, Digne, Sergi Roberto, Andre Gomes, Aleix Vidal, Umtiti, Yerry Mina, Vermaelen
'We trust the team' - Barcelona fans happy with London-bound squad
Despite winning just one of their past three games in La Liga, the squad announcement had Barcelona fans excited ahead of their game against Chelsea.