FC  Barcelona manager Luis Enrique has rubbished reports suggesting that Lionel Messi could be injured, while urging his side to cope up with the loss of talented Brazilian Neymar. FC Barcelona host Deportivo La Coruna knowing that a win would mean they remain at the top of the table before their trip to Japan to participate in the Club World Championship. More importantly, the lead over hated-rivals Real Madrid would be 4 points provided the Bernabeu outfit matches FC Barcelona’s result. Messi injury rumors quashed by Enrique Prior to the game, rumors were rife that talismanic Argentine Lionel Messi might not be available for the clash against the side currently sitting sixth in the Liga BBVA table. Quashing those reports, Enrique was quoted saying to Goal.com: “Here we go with the same routine of questions as always. No, Leo is fine, there’s nothing wrong with him at all. He is in perfect shape. More good news for Barca on injury front The Blaugrana manager also […]

Real Madrid returned to league action on Valentine’s Day as they hosted Deportivo La Coruna at home. Though the ‘All Whites’ were not at their brilliant best against a mid-table side, they did manage to secure three points, a clean sheet and a temporary lead of four points at the top of La Liga. Real Madrid managed to ward off the fears of yet another upset after the 4-0 disappointment against Atletico. The 2-0 win over Deportivo was exactly what Carlo Ancelotti’s men needed a few days before their round-of-16 encounter against Schalke. First Half Analysis Real Madrid started the game very cautiously, trying to hold on to possession for as long as possible and not creating many chances at the beginning. From the start, it was quite clear that Ancelotti did not want his team to experience yet another nightmare. However, Real Madrid did not do a great job at the start as they tried to set the tempo […]

DEPORTIVO LA CORUNA v FC BARCELONA Estadio Riazor, Galicia Sunday 18th Jan, 2015, 18:00 GMT  *** Barcelona turn their attention back to La Liga after completing a resounding 9-0 aggregate victory over Elche in the Copa del Rey in midweek. The Catalan giants sit one point off the league summit and are looking to build on their 3-1 triumph over Atletico Madrid last weekend. Despite their mouth-watering front three of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez, Barca’s greatest asset this season has been their defence. They’ve leaked just nine goals, six fewer than any other team, and should have little problem keeping it tight again against this Deportivo side. The Messi speculation has subsided slightly this week and boss Luis Enrique will just have to hope that the diminutive Argentinean is ready to fire them to victory. They can ill-afford to drop any more points. While Barcelona continue to challenge at the summit, Deportivo’s target this season is to secure their […]