Messi back to weave his magic

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORT -

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.

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