Barcelona football returns to our lives on Saturday, and even though all we can think about is the Champions League match against Manchester City, there is a very important La Liga match against Deportivo La Coruña at Camp Nou.
This has been a weird start to the Blaugrana season, and the inconsistent form in the league sees the reigning champions down in fourth place, two points behind leaders Atlético Madrid. Barça hope to change the look of the table in Matchday 7, and beating Depor at home is essential.
But coach Luis Enrique will also have the Manchester City game in mind, which means he is very likely to rotate the side and not field his strongest starting lineup. A rotation will also be necessary because the two starting full-backs are out: Sergi Roberto and Jordi Alba picked up injuries while playing for Spain last week and will not play on Saturday, though they will be ready for Pep Guardiola.
Another player missing the game is goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen, who sprained his ankle and will be out for three weeks. He wasn't going to play anyway, but it's never good to have your first backup keeper injured, especially with Ter Stegen at risk of getting hurt
or making dumb mistakes every game.
Midfielder Ivan Rakitic missed the league game against Celta Vigo two Sundays ago and did not travel to international duty with Croatia due to Achilles problems, and the player is also unlikely to play against Depor to be fully fit to face Man City.
Now we move on to the players who could play, but we're still not sure: Big Sammy Umtiti has recovered from his knee injury and will train normally with the squad this week, and is expected to start on Saturday to give Javier Mascherano a chance to rest after playing in South America. The Frenchman was in fantastic form before his injury, and hopefully he comes back the same beast as he has been in the first few months of his Barça career.
And last but not least, the big is obviously Lionel Messi, who's in the very final stages of his recovery from a groin injury, and as of now the Argentinean will be back to face La Coruña. Luis Enrique wants to start Messi against City, which means Leo will play 20-30 minutes as a substitute on Saturday to warm up for Wednesday.