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Vermaelen to make first Barca league start in 22 months

Thomas Vermaelen has been named in Barcelona's starting XI in a La Liga game for the first time in 22 months.

The Belgium international joined Barca from Arsenal in August 2014 but has seen his time at Camp Nou severely hampered by injuries.

Vermaelen last started in the league for Barca on January 23, 2016, in a 2-1 win at Malaga, and spent the 2016-17 season on loan at Roma.

But he is back in the XI for the the Liga leaders' trip to second-placed Valencia, marking just the eighth league start of his Barca career. Ernesto Valverde's men go into the game at Mestalla with a four-point lead over their hosts.

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