Are we ready for a big Champions League game? Barcelona and Manchester City square off on Wednesday at Camp Nou, marking Pep Guardiola's second return to the stadium that turned him into a legend.
A game of this magnitude needs all of its biggest stars ready to play. One month ago, that didn't seem to be the case, as the best player of each team went down with injuries: Barça's Lionel Messi hurt his groin and there was fear he would not be back in time to face the Citizens, and City playmaker Kevin De Bruyne suffered a hamstring injury that initially ruled him out of the Camp Nou clash.
As the days went by, though, we got some very good news for both players. Messi's problem was less serious than initially expected and he returned to training four days before the initial scheduled date, making his return to the pitch with a 35-minute performance against Deportivo La Coruña last Saturday, and Leo even scored in a perfect warm-up for Wednesday's game.
De Bruyne traveled to Barcelona to work with one of Guardiola's favorite doctors, and the treatment worked: Kevin's four-week absence was reduced to only three weeks, and he played 90 minutes against Everton at the weekend. With Messi and De Bruyne healthy and ready to start, there are no major injury concerns, and both teams should have their best footballers available to play on Wednesday, which makes the game even better.
There are players with uncertain status ahead of the match though, including Barça's two starting full-backs. This is the full list of injury doubts ahead of the game (there are no suspensions):