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Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Neymar, Luis Enrique, Las Palmas | Top 5 Barca


Lionel Messi injury places even more pressure on Neymar and Co. at Barca

Barcelona returned to their winning ways with an unconvincing yet valuable 2-1 home victory over Las Palmas on Saturday. However, not a single one of the 99,000 supporters who attended the game at the Camp Nou left the stadium with a smile. Their beloved Lionel Messi had to be taken off on a stretcher after just three minutes on the pitch, and judging by his teammates' reaction as soon as the injury happened, the No. 10 was inevitably destined for a long spell away from football.

Lionel Messi's injury will impact Barcelona, Luis Suarez, team tactics

On the face of it, we're about to learn something about the ability, character and talent of Luis Enrique's Barcelona squad while Lionel Messi is absent for at least two months. Who will step up to the plate, who'll be missing, and what "extra" will this bring out of the manager's repertoire? These are the types of questions that fans, media and other teams will be posing.

Messi's out. So who's in?

On Saturday, Barça did exactly what it was supposed to do in dispatching newly promoted Las Palmas. The 2-1 scoreline didn’t really reflect the almost constant danger posed by Barça in a match that could well have ended 4 or 5-1. But nobody counts those goals (unless it’s a draw and goal differential comes into play). Almost is for horseshoes and hand grenades. There really isn’t much to say about the match beyond the fact that Ter Stegen got screwed by his defense again, after a tremendous cock-up by Mascherano, who seems to have forgotten everything that he knows, which is late in a match with an opponent pressing for anything, don’t hold the ball.

Tactical Review: Barcelona go back to basics as Las Palmas overcomplicate

After the midweek 4-1 evisceration at the hands of Luis Enrique’s former team, Celta Vigo, the blaugrana were universally predicted to set the record straight, and respond against La Liga minnows, Las Palmas. Respond though they did, the encounter was marred by a knee injury suffered by Lionel Messi, which saw the diminutive Argentine wizard leave the field of play as early as the ninth minute. While the injury – expected to keep Messi on the side-lines for a shade under two months – is undoubtedly a huge concern, picking up the three points against the Canarians was anything but.

Lionel Messi will be fit for Clasico on November 21

Leo Messi will be ready for the clasico at the Santiago Bernabeu. The Argentine player received good news on his first day back in training at the Ciutat Esportiva de Sant Joan Despi, where he was accompanied by Luis Suarez. THe doctors told him the duration of his recovery would be closer to seven weeks than right, so he will be ready for the November 21 Clasico.

Shockingly, Barcelona shouldn’t much miss the all-world talent of Lionel Messi

Hampered by a transfer ban this summer, Barcelona was unable to re-stock its squad with established stars. While Barca has started 5-0-1, the goal difference of just plus-4 looks unusual. Four of those five victories have come by just one goal. Last year at this time Barcelona had yet to allow a goal and had scored 17. Two years ago the numbers were 22 goals scored and five conceded. For the most part, however, the problem appears to be finishing rather than chance creation. By expected goals, a measure of the quality of chances created based on location, assist type, the kind of attacking play leading to the shot and other factors, Barcelona is clearly one of the two elite clubs in La Liga.

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