Barcelona will have to pull up their socks as they welcome Deportivo La Coruna to the Nou Camp as La Liga action resumes after a frustrating international break. But the break in League action would have afforded the big wigs in the team to put their mind off the chastening defeat against Celta Vigo which saw them drop down to the 4th place in the table.
The usual title favourites like Real Madrid and Barcelona have dropped a whole lot of points this season and both of the teams will look to avoid further slip-ups again. The Blaugrana have already dropped 8 points in 7 matches played thus far and they are yet to play Real Madrid.
Luis Enrique has been plagued with injuries to and unavailability of his best players since the start of the season. Neymar was unavailable due to his participation in the Olympics where he won Gold with Brazil.
But the gaffer has been handed a boost with the news of Leo Messi returning to training and it seems the Argentine will be given some minutes off the bench. Messi has been hampered by injuries this season and his importance has been put beyond doubt seeing the plight both Argentina and Barcelona are in right now.
With the important Champions League match against Manchester City next week, it will be interesting to see whether Enrique makes changes yet again.
T4O’s PREDICTED BARCELONA LINE-UP VS DEPORTIVO LA CORUNA (4-3-3)
Marc-André Ter Stegen will be in goal and will look to cut down on his uncharacteristic mistakes which have plagued him this season. Aleix Vidal will line-up at right-back and his attacking forays will be crucial with Messi unlikely to start the match which will create a void higher up the pitch.
Sergi Roberto will be missed but it will be up to Vidal to step up. Pique scored twice last time out and will be partnered by Umtiti as the Frenchman continues to grow into his new team. Jordi Alba is injured which will see Lucas Digne get his 3rd start of the season.
Sergio Busquets will sit at the base of the midfield three and will look to regain his best form before the match against City. Rakitic is expected to come in on the left-hand side of the trio while Andre Gomes might start again with Iniesta given minutes off the bench.
Neymar and Suarez are nailed-on starters while Enrique will most likely go with Arda Turan in place of Messi with the Turkish international’s experience likely to come in handy.