Barcelona's Lionel Messi at Luis Suarez arrive in Johannesburg at OR Tambi International Airport on Wednesday. Photo: REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

Lionel Messi won’t start for Barcelona in their Nelson Mandela Centenary Cup clash against Mamelodi Sundowns at the FNB Stadium on Wednesday evening (6.15pm kickoff).

Instead, coach Ernesto Valverde has gone with Ousmane Dembele in the playmaker role, although star striker Luis Suarez will lead the Barca attack.

Two other big names not in the starting XI is Brazilian star Philippe Coutinho and Spanish defender Gerard Pique.

MORE: VIDEO: Barcelona arrive for Sundowns game to chants of Messi, vuvuzelas

But the likes of goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen, Ivan Rakitic, Sergio Busquets and Andres Iniesta will run out at the beginning of the match.

Sundowns suffered a blow before the match, with defender Ricardo Nascimento ruled out due to flu, which sees Bangaly Soumahoro come in.

Teams For FNB Stadium

Mamelodi Sundowns: 14 Denis Onyango 4 Tebogo Langerman 20 Anele Ngcongca 29 Bangaly Soumahoro 6 Wayne Arendse 13 Tiyani Mabunda 8 Hlompho Kekana (captain) 33 Khama Billiat 11 Sibusiso Vilakazi 18 Themba Zwane 22 Percy Tau.

Substitutes: Kennedy Mweene (GK), Oupa Manyisa, Gaston Sirino, Motjeka Madisha, Siyabonga Zulu, Thokozani Sekotlong, Jeremy Brockie, George Lebese, Thapelo Morena, Aubrey Ngoma, Ricardo Nascimento.

Barcelona: 1 Marc-André ter Stegen 2 Nelson Semedo 4 Ivan Rakitic 5 Sergio Busquets 6 Denis Suarez 8 Andres Iniesta (captain) 9 Luis Suarez 11 Ousmane Dembele 19 Lucas Digne 24 Yerry Mina 26 Carles Alena.

Substitutes: Jasper Cillessen (GK), Gerard Piqué, Lionel Messi, Philippe Coutinho, Paulinho, Paco Alcácer, Jordi Alba, Sergi Roberto, André Gomes, Aleix Vidal, R de Galarreta, J Cuenca.


IOL Sport

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