Andres Iniesta has been deemed fit enough to start for Barcelona in their Champions League clash with Chelsea, who included Olivier Giroud up front for the round of 16 second leg on Wednesday.
A day earlier, Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said it could be a “risk” to start Iniesta, after the midfield talisman injured his hamstring in last weekend’s win against Atletico Madrid and initial reports suggested he would be out for up to a month.
Barcelona also added Ousmane Dembele to the starting XI in place of Paulinho in their only other change from the first leg, a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge. Dembele, 20, played 85 minutes in Saturday’s win over Malaga in just his third competitive start since returning from injury in January.
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte chose Giroud to start over Pedro, the former Barcelona player who began the first leg, or Alvaro Morata in his only change from the first leg.
Giroud has only made three starts for Chelsea since moving from Arsenal in January.
Barcelona XI: Marc-Andre ter Stegen; Jordi Alba, Samuel Umtiti, Gerard Pique, Sergi Roberto; Sergio Busquets, Ivan Rakitic; Andres Iniesta, Ousmane Dembele; Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi
Chelsea XI: Thibaut Courtois; Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen, Cesar Azpilicueta; Marcos Alonso, N’Golo Kante, Cesc Fabregas, Victor Moses; Eden Hazard, Olivier Giroud, Willian
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