The famous Argentine player, Lionel Messi, is back again to provide Barcelona and Ernesto Valverde with a major boost ahead of the Champions League clash against Borussia Dortmund on Sunday. The Argentine attacker is yet to feature for Barca this term after sustaining a calf injury on his return to pre-season training in August.
Messi is yet to feature for Barca this term after sustaining a calf injury on his return to pre-season training in August. He was expected to return by now but unfortunately, his scar reopened and his recovery halted. Although he wasn’t present on the field with the rest of his teammates, Messi did watch from the stands as Barcelona thrashed Valencia 5-2 in La Liga on Saturday.
He has also been sighted training during a practice match at the club’s training ground at Sant Joan Despi. Hopefully, he’ll make his full recovery soon and make his return for this season since he is an integral part of Barcelona.
Ahead of the Catalan’s visit to Dortmund’s Signal Iduna Park, many have named the Catalans 13-10 favourites, while Dortmund have odds of 39-20 to win. A draw comes in at 13-5. It will be difficult to judge the outcome from now as both teams are pretty strong and have delivered impressive wins in their respective leagues during the weekend.
Borussia Dortmund have been busy, smashing Bayer Leverkusen 4-0. Marco Reus was the star player for BVB, scoring a brace, while Jadon Sancho added yet another assist to his remarkable tally. It’s safe to say their defence does seem to be a slight bit better than Barca’s, considering they’ve only conceded five goals in four Bundesliga matches. They have kept just a single clean sheet so far, something Barcelona have yet to achieve.
Barcelona might have to start worrying about their defence department as in four La Liga matches, Barcelona have already conceded seven goals, a dreadful number and a worrying sign ahead of the trip to Germany.
However, one must not underestimate their attackers and Luis Suarez scored two goals in the win, showing little rust after spending time on the sidelines with injury. Dortmund must also be apprehensive about the return of Lionel Messi, another dangerous striker.
Since both teams struggle in the defence departments and have many attacking talents, this match could come down to a battle for midfield control and likely end up in a draw.
In other news, La Liga Giants are also targeting world-class defender Virgil Van Dijk, including teams such as Barcelona and Real Madrid. And why wouldn’t they? As excellently put by Danny Murphy in an exclusive interview, Van Dijk has “leadership qualities make him the full package as a footballer, there’s not a weakness to his game. He’s technically very good, he’s quick, he’s strong and he’s good in the air. He doesn’t get beat in one on ones and he’s starting to lead by example, whilst helping others around him. There’s no coincidence the players around him are looking better as well”.
Van Dijk has definitely had an impact on Liverpool’s overall performance and the Liverpool before van Dijk was completely different. Defending doesn’t just depend on the footballer himself, but the communication and understanding that he has with the rest of his teammates. Van Dijk ticks all the boxes and if Barcelona are able to spend a fortune on him, it would undoubtedly begin to solve their defence issues. It is being reported that Liverpool would not let him go for anything less than £150m and the defender was due to sign a new contract this month until 2025 but no official announcement has been made on the renewal.