Barcelona will be hoping to return to winning ways against Leganes after a shock 2-1 defeat to Deportivo Alaves last week.

The 2016/17 season has not gotten off to the best possible start for Luis Enrique and co., as they find themselves playing catch up after only three games. A catastrophic defeat at the hands of Deportivo Alaves will certainly be a result the manager would look to put aside going into Saturday’s fixture against Leganes.

However, a 7-0 drubbing of Celtic on Tuesday in the Champions League has certainly seen the Barca players regain confidence and they will be looking to maintain the same form in the La Liga this weekend.

Newly-promoted Leganes would be hoping to emulate Alaves as they have the odds slashed against them going into Saturday’s fixture. Barcelona look far too strong for Asier Garitano’s men and it will be a Herculean task if the hosts are to get something from the game.

Barcelona's coach Luis Enrique shouts instructions to players during the second leg of the Spanish Supercup football match between FC Barcelona and Sevilla FC at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on August 17, 2016. / AFP / PAU BARRENA (Photo credit should read PAU BARRENA/AFP/Getty Images)
Barcelona’s coach Luis Enrique shouts instructions to players during the second leg of the Spanish Supercup football match between FC Barcelona and Sevilla FC at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on August 17, 2016. / AFP / PAU BARRENA (Photo by PAU BARRENA/AFP/Getty Images)

Probable Lineups

With Sergio Busquets set to be rested for the game, Denis Suarez is likely to replace the Spanish international at the heart of midfield. Ivan Rakitic and new signing Andre Gomes will be deployed on either side of Suarez.

Jasper Cillissen had a forgetful debut last week, but is expected to start between the sticks for the game against Leganes. Pique and Umtiti look set to continue as centre-backs with Alba and Roberto occupying the full-back positions.

Lionel Messi seems to have recuperated from his groin and hamstring injury and will join Neymar and Luis Suarez to form a formidable attacking trio. Paco Alcacer is likely to come on as a second-half substitute.

Barcelona probable XI: Cillissen; Roberto, Pique, Umtiti, Alba; Rakitic, Suarez, Gomes; Messi, Suarez, Neymar.

bar-vs-leg

Going into the game as clear underdogs, Leganes will be relying on the services of their star talisman Miguel Guerrero. Wingers Alexander Szymanowski and Unai Lopez will be looking to outmatch the Barcelona full-backs and create chances for Guerrero inside the 18-yard-area.

Defenders Martin Montovani and Pablo Insua have been working well as a pair at the heart of defence and will probably take the field come Sunday. Jon Ander Serantes has shown promise this season and will take his position between the sticks for the hosts.

Leganes Probable XI: Serantes; Diaz, Montovano, Insua, Rico; Alberto, Copovi; Lopez, Gabriel, Szymannowski; Guerrero.

Stats

  • The Catalan giants have kept a clean sheet in their last 4 away matches in La Liga.
  • Barca have been winning at both half time and full time in 8 of their last 11 away matches in La Liga.
  • Barcelona have won 10 of their last 12 away matches Spain’s top tier.
  • There have been over 2.5 goals scored in 16 of Barcelona’s last 19 games in the league.
  • Leganes have only managed to win one game since their return to the top flight.
  • This will be the first occasion these two sides will be squaring off against each other.

Watch out for

Lionel Messi

Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi (R) vies with Celtic's Irish defender Eoghan O'Connell during the UEFA Champions League football match FC Barcelona vs Celtic FC at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on September 13, 2016. / AFP / LLUIS GENE (Photo credit should read LLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images)
Barcelona’s Argentinian forward Lionel Messi (R) vies with Celtic’s Irish defender Eoghan O’Connell during the UEFA Champions League football match FC Barcelona vs Celtic FC at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on September 13, 2016. / AFP / LLUIS GENE (Photo by LLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images)

After a tumultuous summer that saw Lionel Messi involved in tax scandals and retire from international football only to revoke his decision, it finally seems that the Argentinian has got his head together.

He has recovered from his injury and will be raring to start scoring goals on a regular basis for Barcelona. An opposition like Leganes should not prove to be a threat for Messi as he will be looking to score in back-to-back La Liga games.

Prediction

Legames 2-0 Barcelona

If their performance in mid-week is to be taken into consideration, this game should be a mere formality for Barcelona. Leganes undoubtedly have the weaker of the two sides and will be looking to avoid a battering rather than trying to push for a win.

Thus, it is expected that they will setup defensively and offer Barca as little space as possible. The game may seem a bit cagey in some quarters, but the Catalan giants are far too good to not pick up maximum points from this game.

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