Luis En­rique no­tices when Messi is miss­ing

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

BARCELONA mae­stro Lionel Messi is fully re­cov­ered from in­jury and should make his come­back against De­portivo La Coruna to­day, coach Luis En­rique said.

The five-time World Player of the Year has re­sumed full train­ing af­ter sus­tain­ing a groin in­jury in the 1-1 draw against Atletico Madrid last month.

“Leo has been train­ing with the team since Wed­nes­day and at a high level. When you come back from in­jury you need min­utes, in games and in train­ing, and so I’ll speak with him to­mor­row to de­cide, but in the­ory he’s avail­able,” Luis En­rique said yes­ter­day.

France in­ter na­tional de­fender Sa­muel Umtiti is also avail­able af­ter re­cov­er­ing from a knee lig­a­ment in­jury as Barca also pre­pare for a heavy­weight Cham­pi­ons League clash with Premier League lead­ers Manch­ester City on Wed­nes­day.

“The great news is that we have re­cu­per­ated two in­jured play­ers in Leo and Sa­muel,” said the Cata­lan coach.

Barca won two of three games with­out all- time top­scorer Messi, win­ning 5-0 at Sport­ing Gi­jon and labour­ing to a 2-1 vic­tory over Borus­sia Moenchenglad­bach, but they lost 4-3 at Celta Vigo be­fore the in­ter­na­tional break.

“You no­tice it when any player is miss­ing and when you are talk­ing about the best player of all time, then any team would be af­fected by that, but our chal­lenge is to ac­cept it, as we did last sea­son,” added Luis En­rique.

“We have been with­out Messi for many weeks un­for­tu­nately but that hap­pens to ev­ery team over a sea­son. To win a league ti­tle you have to make use of the en­tire squad and work out how to over­come those mo­ments.”

Bara are fourth in La Liga, two points be­hind lead­ers Atletico Madrid, and have made their worst start to a cam­paign in 11 years, win­ning four of their first seven games.

Luis En­rique has failed to over­see a Barca vic­tory over De­portivo at the Nou Camp, twice draw­ing 2- 2 with the Gali­cians who are 13th in the ta­ble, and the coach ad­mit­ted his side had to be care­ful to avoid an­other slip-up.

“They have had two weeks to pre­pare for the game, and we need to be aware against a De­por side who play good foot­ball, con­cede few goals and know how they want to play,” Luis En­rique con­cluded. – Reuters

LIONEL MESSI: Back in train­ing

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