Dembele Returns to Barca Squad But Rakitic Dropped

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Dembele Returns to Barca Squad But Rakitic Dropped

Ousmane Dembele has been included in Barcelona's latest matchday squad, but Ernesto Valverde has opted to leave Ivan Rakitic out of his final 18.

The reigning Liga champions continue the defence of their crown with a huge clash against Villarreal at Camp Nou on Tuesday night.

Barca have only managed to pick up seven points from a possible 15 at the start of the new season, with a 2-0 defeat at Granada on Saturday heaping more pressure on Valverde.

They will, however, welcome back a key performer in Dembele to face Villarreal, who has made a full recovery from a hamstring injury.

The 22-year-old has been out of action since picking up the issue during an opening day defeat to Athletic Club, but he was introduced back into full training last week.

Rakitic has not made the final cut though, with Valverde citing intense competition for places as the reason behind his absence.

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