Messi back to weave his magic
BARCELONA, Spain (AP): LIONEL MESSI is ready to make his return for Barcelona. Probably.
The Argentina forward has been out for three weeks with a right groin strain, but Barcelona coach Luis Enrique said yesterday that Messi could play against Deportivo La Coruna at Camp Nou today.
“I never give clues to opposing coaches,” said Luis Enrique, who will announce his squad on the day of the match.
“In the case of Leo, he has been training with us since Wednesday,” the coach said. “It’s clear that since he is coming back from injury he needs minutes both in training and in games. Tomorrow, I will talk with him, but he is available.”
After the match against Deportivo, Barcelona will host Manchester City in the Champions League — a game in which the Spanish team will face former coach Pep Guardiola.
Barcelona have only won one of three league matches since Messi went down in the second half against Atletico Madrid on September 21. Atletico rallied to draw 1-1, Barcelona routed Sporting Gijon 5-0 and lost at Celta Vigo 4-3 with Messi out.
Those stumbles left Barcelona in fourth place, two points behind leaders Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid, before last week’s international break. Atletico, who lead the league on goal difference, will next face Granada. Madrid visit Real Betis.
Deportivo have yet to win away from home this season, but the Galician side has managed the impressive feat of earning a pair of 2-2 draws in their last two league visits to Barcelona.
Lucas Perez, now at Arsenal, scored for FC Barcelona’s Lionel Messi (right) and Neymar attend a training session at the Sports Center FC Barcelona Joan Gamper in Sant Joan Despi, Spain, yesterday.
Deportivo in both of those matches to spark comebacks from two goals down. With Perez gone, Deportivo may turn to new signing Ryan Babel to spark their lethargic attack. The former Liverpool player scored Deportivo’s late winner in their last match.