Barcelona Return To La Liga Action, Set To Face Newly Promoted Leganes
FC Barcelona face what could turn out to be a ‘banana skin’ or the confirmation that last weekend’s 2-1 defeat at home to Alaves was merely an isolated case when they travel to the south of Madrid to face newly promoted Leganes at 1pm on Saturday.
Barcelona recovered from their weekend defeat with a 7-0 thrashing of Celtic in the Champions League on Tuesday, but the side that beat Celtic was arguably their strongest , as Luis Enrique had rested key players against Alaves and paid the price.
With a vital match at home to Atletico Madrid on Wednesday, will the Barca boss be again tempted to rest big name players?
Other players such as Ivan Rakitic or Andres Iniesta may be given a rest, while Javier Mascherano could also return in central defense. The form of Andre Gomes against Celtic showed the Portuguese midfielder will add muscle and guile to the side, while Samuel Umtiti must also be happy with his displays since arriving at the Nou Camp.
Leganes are enjoying life in their first season at the top-flight, despite a 2-1 defeat away to Sporting Gijon a week ago when they paid for errors in the first half.
The side coached by Asier Garitano has already held Atletico Madrid in their small Butarque stadium and is likely to play a five-man defense and pack the midfield. Alaves surprised Barca with five at the back and Barca will have to move the ball a lot faster than they did in the Camp Nou if they are to break down their rivals.
Patience is likely to be a necessary virtue, but with memories of Alaves still fresh, an early goal would go a long way to calming Barca’s nerves.