FC Barcelona look set to welcome Lionel Messi back into the mix following the Argentines recovery from injury that kept him out of action for three weeks.
All eyes will be on Lionel Messi when Barcelona take to the field on Saturday as the 30-year-old looks set to make his return to first-team action after recovering from a groin injury that kept him out of action for two of the Blaugrana’s league games as well as Argentina’s World Cup qualifiers during the International break. The forward was sorely missed in his absence by Barcelona as they lost one and drew the other in the two games during his absence.
His comeback will hopefully herald a return back to the scheme of things for Barcelona who sit in a rather unfamiliar 4th spot in the La Liga table behind Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid and Sevilla. With the visit of Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City to look forward to during midweek, a win on Saturday will do a world of good for their confidence.
Gerard Pique has endured a turbulent couple of weeks owing to the controversy surrounding the absence of the Spanish flag on his sleeves while he turned out for La Roja in a World Cup Qualifying game against Albania.
The defender has since stated that he will quit the national side after the 2018 World Cup and the decision has seen a furious reaction from the Spanish supporters. Hence the defender will be happy to return to Catalonia and will be eager to put all the controversy behind and get on with the football. Javier Mascherano is expected to be on the bench for Deportivo’s visit due to his late arrival from international duties.
Jeremy Mathieu could take his place over Samuel Umtiti, who’s just made his recovery from injury and is unlikely to be rushed into the first team line-up immediately. The absence of Jordi Alba due to injury means Lucas Digne will take his place at left-back. The Frenchman has been impressive since his arrival at Nou Camp and is a natural choice for the full-back position in the absence of the Spanish international. However the same cannot be said about Aleix Vidal.
The right-back, who is expected to replace the injured Sergi Roberto, has been far from impressive since his move from Sevilla last season. The Spaniard has proved to be a major step-down from the legendary Dani Alves and has a lot to prove if he is to stake a claim for the first team.
Marc Andre ter Stegen will be the focal point of attention against Deportivo on Saturday as the German will be keen to erase memories of a horrifying show last time around in a 4-3 defeat to Celta Vigo. With Jasper Cillessen injured, the 24-year-old is the natural choice in-goal but he’ll have to turn up with an inspired performance to win back the support of the fans he might have lost during that horror show at Estadio Balaidos.