Squad depth is a beautiful thing. When you don't have it, you run the risk of running your players into the ground and lose them for the most important part of the season. When you do have it, you can survive small injury breaks and still maintain a high level even for difficult matches.
After six months of not having any of it, Barcelona can finally enjoy it. Jordi Alba, Jérémy Mathieu and possibly Lionel Messi will miss the next 7-10 days of action, a period that includes the Copa del Rey quarter-finals plus a huge match on the road. Still, coach Luis Enrique is going to have a strong squad to form not just a competitive, but a dominating team.
That depth will be tested against Athletic Bilbao on Wednesday. The 6-0 destruction last Sunday does not mean Barça will have an easier time in the Spanish Cup tie. The aforementioned Messi, Alba and Mathieu along with the suspended Luis Suárez are all probably out. In addition to the injuries and suspensions, the game is at San Mamés, the eternally difficult home of Los Leones. Neymar Jr is available, however, and has the chance of running the show all by himself without his 'MSN' partners.
Arda Turan, Aleix Vidal and Munir El-Haddadi, all in good form, could be in the attacking front with the Brazilian, and those three are still able to help Neymar to leave that crazy cauldron with a victory.
But will Barça win? Speak up, Blaugranes! Please use the comment section below and share your predictions for the final score of tonight's matchup. Good luck!