Club football is finally back! After going into the international break on the back of a disappointing loss to Celta de Vigo, Barça face another Galician side, Celta's fierce rivals. Deportivo La Coruña have had a mixed start to the season and will undoubtedly do the usual thing visiting teams do at Camp Nou - park the bus and hope to be a threat on the counter. Despite the old adage of not underestimating any opponent, it is difficult not to approach this game - whether as a fan or a player - with at least half an eye on the Manchester City game in a few days' time.
A post-Lucas Pérez Depor
Lucas Pérez formed the majority of Depor's offensive Arsenal - no pun intended - last season, his goals going a long way in helping Depor stay in La Liga. With his departure to Arsenal, Depor have not been able to fill the conspicuous Lucas Pérez-shaped hole in their team.
Some old faces remain. Celso Borges is a physically imposing central midfielder with an inclination to getting forward and supporting his forwards. Some experienced pros remain in defence, the likes of Sidnei, Alejandro Arribas and Raúl Albentosa expected to feature at the heart of a 5-man defence.
Where Depor have some players who, on their day, have the potential to excite viewers is out wide. Emre Çolak impressed in flashes for Galatasaray before joining Depor. The Turkish winger is a hard worker defensively but, crucially, has both the dribbling ability and eye for a pass. He has swiftly become a key player for Gaizka Garitano's side. Bruno Gama is the archetypal Portuguese winger, always looking to get forward on the dribble for a shot or to supply Florin Andone. Carles Gil is a tidy, technically proficient attacking midfielder with an eye for a pass an a tendency to shoot from distance. Ryan Babel has had a journeyman career since leaving Liverpool but possesses the pace and technical skill set to be a threat on the counter.
Marlos Moreno is the pick of the bunch. After making his breakthrough at Colombian side Atlético Nacional, Moreno won the Copa Libertadores with Nacional before moving to Depor (on loan from Manchester City). The Colombian wunderkind is widely considered to have been one of the best players in this year's Copa Libertadores and is most definitely one to keep an eye on - much like Pione Sisto was against Celta. After his exertions during the international break, Moreno will likely start from the bench. With bags of pace, flair and proficiency off either foot, expect the Colombian to make an impact in the 2nd half. Depor lack the offensive quality to do much damage to Barça, but Marlos Moreno has the individual ability to make his mark, regardless of the result.
Luis Enrique's Rotation
The international break has been helpful. Amongst other things, Sergio Busquets looked much better than before and Neymar had a much-needed rest. Lucas Digne at left back does not reduce any confidence in that position. In midfield, any two of André Gomes, Rafinha and Denis Suárez have another chance to stake a stronger claim to be higher up in Luis Enrique's thoughts. As much as they are team-mates, they are competing with each other for minutes. Paco Alcácer has had two weeks to further adapt to Lucho's tactical system and should get another start today.
Much has been said about Aleix Vidal - from Lucho in press conferences, rumours in the media to instagram posts from Vidal himself. With Sergi Roberto out injured, assuming we don't see the 3-man defence today, Lucho has little choice but to start Aleix Vidal or hand a debut to Nili or Sergi Palencia from Barça B. It's now or never for Aleix Vidal.
On a sidenote, Nili has impressed for Barça B. Palencia is one of the Barça B captains and has the talent to eventually succeed at senior level. It would be a good opportunity and opponent for him to make his 1st-team debut today.