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La Liga: FC Barcelona vs Leganes: Team News, Match Preview

Let's pretend Tuesday didn't happen!

Real Betis Balompie v FC Barcelona - La Liga Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images

FC Barcelona will be looking to put their midweek embarrassment firmly behind them tomorrow evening, when they return to La Liga action against Leganes at the Camp Nou. For the Blaugrana, this match has perhaps become the most important of the season; following their shocking 4-0 defeat against Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday, the media has been dominated by metaphorical obituaries, both for FC Barcelona’s season, Luis Enrique’s tenure as head coach – and in some cases, even for the players themselves.

It is now down to the same players and the same coach to set about proving the doubters wrong, to remind everyone watching across Spain and the rest of the world that reports of Barcelona’s sudden and dramatic demise have been greatly exaggerated. Progression in the UEFA Champions League may be all but impossible, but there are two more trophies still to play for; the Blaugrana are just 90 minutes away from lifting one title this season, and if they can start to put together a string of good results, there’s no reason why the La Liga title race can’t go down to the wire as well.

Real Madrid’s afternoon victory over RCD Espanyol saw Los Blancos extend their lead at the top of the pile to four points, having played one game fewer than Luis Enrique’s side. Cristiano Ronaldo appears to be back to his best after a somewhat indifferent season by his superhuman standards, and Zinedine Zidane was also able to welcome Gareth Bale back into the squad today, with the Welshman scoring a goal on his return from injury.

In other words, Real appear to be in fine shape for the remainder of the season, but if this week has proven anything, it’s that nothing is certain in football. With tougher fixtures to follow in the coming weeks and months for Real Madrid, the important thing is that FC Barcelona simply keep pace and maintain the pressure. As Lenny Kravitz would say, “it ain’t over till it’s over”.



Arda Turan and Javier Mascherano are expected to continue to miss out through injury, while Luis Enrique will also have to contend with the absence of Sergio Busquets tomorrow, as the Catalan is suspended for picking up his fifth yellow card of the season last weekend against Deportivo Alaves. The lengthy midfield injury list means that Carles Alena has been training with the squad once again and he could therefore take a place on the bench tomorrow.

The midweek defeat could prompt Luis Enrique to rotate his squad, however it is equally likely that he will send a similar starting line-up out to see what kind of response they can provide. Ivan Rakitic will replace Sergio Busquets in midfield, but aside from that, it’s unlikely that Enrique will want to make too many changes. For the first time this year, Barcelona will have a week before their next game, and as such the focus should be on securing the result above anything else.


A plucky side from the outskirts of Madrid, Leganes are like Getafe’s somewhat more likeable cousin – even if they also seem destined to potentially fall back into the second tier based on their current form. Leganes are without a win in their past 12 matches, and they’ve only managed one win in their past 18. This dramatic loss of form has seen Asier Garitano’s side drop ever closer to the relegation zone, where they hold just a two point cushion over Sporting Gijon in 18th place.

In terms of the match tomorrow, Leganes will be without the suspended Ruben Perez, while Mamadou Kone, David Timor, Roger Ibanez and Ander Serrantes all miss out through injury. Without a proven goalscorer in their midst, Leganes are finding it difficult this season and it’s hard to see that working in their favour against a wounded Barcelona.


Barcelona: WWWDWL

Leganes: LLDDLL


CD Leganes 1-5 FC Barcelona – 17th September 2016 – La Liga

Luis Enrique experimented with a 3-4-3 in this early Saturday afternoon kick-off, and it worked a treat with Neymar, Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi and Rafinha Alcantara all finding their way onto the scoresheet.


Barcelona (4-3-3): ter Stegen; Roberto, Pique, Umtiti, Alba; Rakitic, Gomes, Iniesta; Messi, Suarez, Neymar

Leganes (4-2-3-1): Herrerin; Bustinza, Mantovani, Insua, Rico; Alberto, Gabriel; Samu, Bueno, Szymanowski; Guerrero


Leganes just aren’t La Liga quality; this won’t even be close. Manita.

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