Returning in high-spirited triumph from their 5-1 trouncing of Panathinaikos in the Champions League, Barca now heads out to the Spanish capital to face Liga contenders Athletico Madrid, in a meet that's set to be anything but easy.
Barca hasn't had the best of luck on the Vicente Calderon in the past, not having been able to win a match there in years. Last season, the away match that Barca played against Atheltico Madrid was their only loss in the Liga; so that this time around, everyone's looking to break the curse and finally grab a win on said stadium.
Squad-wise, leftback Eric Abidal won't be travelling to Madrid with the team, having been excused to go and be with his dying grandfather on the Martinique island in the Caribbean. He is left out along with the injured Jeffren, while Pep takes along an 18-man squad composed of Valdés, Pinto, Maxwell, Alves, Piqué, Puyol, Milito, Adriano, Sergio, Mascherano, Xavi, Iniesta, Keita, Messi, Pedro, Villa and Bojan, as well as B-teamer Thiago Alcantara.