Luis Enrique summons 18 players for match at Rayo Vallecano

The players huddle up around Luis Enrique at Wednesday's training session. / MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB
The FC Barcelona coaching staff releases the names of those who will be travelling to the Spanish capital for Thursday night’s La Liga clash

When was the last time FC Barcelona played on a Thursday night? It may have been a while since the last time such a thing occurred, but the FCB manager Luis Enrique is treating his team’s 9.00pm CET clash at Rayo Vallecano as he would any other and, on Thursday morning, announced an 18-man squad list for the trip to Madrid.

Here are the players that have been called upon for Match Day 27 in La Liga: Ter Stegen, Bravo, Piqué, I. Rakitic, Sergio, Arda, A. Iniesta, Suárez, Messi, Neymar Jr, Mascherano, Munir, Jordi Alba, S. Roberto, Adriano, Aleix Vidal, Vermaelen and Mathieu.

Dani Alves is out serving a suspension for yellow card accumulation, while the injured Rafinha has not made it back yet and Masip, Douglas, Bartra and Sandro are being held out due to coach’s decision.

FC Barcelona head to Vallecas looking to maintain their 8-point lead over Atlético de Madrid — which won on Tuesday to provisionally chop Barça’s lead to five — as well as run their overall unbeaten streak to 35 games, which would set a new Spanish record.