Essential pre-match reading, courtesy of Jonathan Wilson:
Recap Saturday’s action across the continent:
There is a game about to be played at Camp Nou – but that doesn’t stop the rumour mill working overtime. There is talk swirling around that Juventus have met with representatives of the Croatia midfielder Ivan Rakitic, who is on the bench this evening. As for Neymar, that noise just will not go away, with the Brazilian linked with a return to Barcelona before next Monday’s transfer deadline.
Team news news: Gerard Piqué makes his 500th appearance in a Barcelona shirt, after making his debut in 2008 against Racing Santander. Antoine Griezmann will lead the line but there is no Lionel Messi, as expected. As for Betis, Nabil Fekir caused problems for Barça with Lyon last season, while the manager Rubi, a member of the 2013-14 Barça coaching staff, has called on former Barça players Marc Bartra and Cristian Tello from the off, while two more, Kaptoum and summer signing Junior Firpo, are among those on the bench. The Barcelona team does not look quite so regal with Messi but there is no shortage of ability.
Barcelona (4-3-3): Ter Stegen; Semedo, Piqué, Lenglet, Jordi Alba; Busquets, Sergi Roberto, De Jong; Pérez, Griezmann, Rafinha
Subs: Fati, Rakitic, Sotorres, Firpo, Umtiti, Vidal, Melo
Real Betis (4-2-3-1): Martin; Pedraza, Sidnei, Bartra, Emerson; Guardado, Carvalho; Tello, Canales, Fekir; Loren
Subs: Dani Rebollo, Mandi, Javi Garcia, Kaptoum, Joaquin, Lainez, Juanmi
Referee: José Luis González
Believe it or not, Barcelona kick-off 18th in La Liga. A shock opening-day defeat to Athletic Bilbao left the Messi-less champions pointless but they can get back on song with victory over Real Betis this evening. The season is of course only 90 minutes old and It seems unlikely that Barça will depart Camp Nou empty-handed given they won 15 of their 19 league on home soil last season, while Ernesto Valverde will demand more from those who flattered to deceive last time out. Betis are no mugs – they finished 10th last season – but defeat to Real Valladolid hardly set the pulses racing and leaves them with an unenviable task in Catalonia. In terms of team news, Messi is not part of the 18-man squad owing to a pesky calf injury despite returning to first-team training, which is a crying shame. Neither are Luis Suárez and Ousmane Dembélé.
Kick-off: 8pm (BST)