Neymar and Rafinha Alcantara are absent from Luis Enrique’s squad as Barcelona visit Deportivo La Coruna at Estadio Riazor on Sunday.
It’s back to league action for Barcelona and the Blaugrana will be taking to the field for the first time since their unbelievable comeback win over Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League Round of 16 as Deportivo La Coruna host them at Estadio Riazor on Sunday.
Luis Enrique would be hoping for a performance in similar mould as of Wednesday, as Barcelona aim to maintain their place at the top of the La Liga table. Ahead of the match on Sunday, here’s the team news for the Catalan club.
The report on the team news front is somewhat grim, as Luis Enrique has two key players missing from his visiting squad for Sunday. Young midfielder Rafinha Alcantara has gastroenteritis, thus forcing him to miss the trip of Riazor.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) March 11, 2017
The biggest piece of news, though, is that the star man from Wednesday, Neymar is also unavailable for Sunday’s match as he has a pain in his left leg’s abductor. As a precaution, the Brazilian forward hasn’t travelled with the squad and will also get some well earned rest.
Defenders Jeremy Mathieu and Aleix Vidal (both ankle) continue to remain absent from the Barcelona boss’ squad with their respective fitness issues. Meanwhile, the Enrique has called up Carles Alena from the Barcelona B squad to give the midfielder some precious exposure with the first team squad.
The absence of Rafinha and Neymar, though, could see Luis Enrique change his system once again, and Barcelona could revert back to a 4-3-3 from the 3-3-1-3. Sergi Roberto and Jordi Alba are likely to go back to being deployed as the traditional fullbacks, with Gerard Pique and Samuel Umtiti at the heart of the Barcelona defence.
The three-man midfield is likely to have Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta and Ivan Rakitic in Rafinha’s absence. Up front, Arda Turan is expected to deputise in Neymar’s stead. The Turkish international will be deployed on the left wing, and he will join Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi in attack.
Here’s the 18-man Barcelona squad that will be travelling to the Riazor to take on Deportivo La Coruna on Sunday:
Ter Stegen, Cillessen, Piqué, Rakitic, Sergio, Denis, Arda, A. Iniesta, Suárez, Messi, Mascherano, Paco Alcácer, Jordi Alba, Digne, Sergi Roberto, André Gomes, Umtiti and Aleñá.