Barcelona boss Setien provides latest on Messi & Suarez ahead of Mallorca
Barca’s title defence back underway
La Liga was the latest of Europe’s top leagues to have returned to action this week.
Following a 3-month standstill on the back of the COVID-19 outbreak, a derby clash between Sevilla and Real Betis last night eventually saw the former emerge as 2-0 victors.
Champions Barcelona, meanwhile, will get their campaign back underway tomorrow night.
Quique Setien’s men are set to visit the Iberostar Stadium, for a meeting with struggling Mallorca.
Before the season was halted, Barca sat pretty atop the Spanish top-flight, two points clear of Clasico rivals Real Madrid.
Mallorca, on the other hand, occupied the final of the relegation spots, a point from safety.
The Blaugrana will therefore of course head into proceedings as overwhelming favourites to secure all 3 points, with the Catalan giants having also put their upcoming hosts to the sword by 5 goals to 2 in the reverse fixture back in December.
Messi & Suarez latest
Ahead of the club’s return to action, however, Barca have been forced to sweat over the fitness of a pair of key attackers.
The individuals in question come in the form of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.
Captain and talisman Messi picked up a thigh issue last week, leading to fears that the Argentine could miss his side’s meeting with Mallorca.
However, after photos emerged of the Ballon d’Or holder back on the training pitch, Quique Setien has since confirmed that Messi is ready to feature from the off tomorrow night:
‘Messi is there to play, he is perfectly fine. He has trained well and there is no problem.’
Uruguayan hitman Suarez, meanwhile, has been sidelined since January, having been forced to undergo surgery on his right knee.
Barcelona confirmed last weekend that their prolific hitman has returned to full fitness, and would therefore be ‘available for selection’ at the Iberostar.
Setien, though, has assured that he will ‘not take risks’ with Suarez, and though the former Liverpool man is ready to start, he will not see out 90 minutes:
‘Suarez is ready to be a starter, but he will not be able to play for the full 90 minutes.’
‘We’ll not take risks with him after five months, but it will be good for him to play and he will need games to be as strong as before his injury.’