Lionel Messi was often spoken as the driving force behind Barcelona’s success in the last five years, but it is seems that the club are finally moving away from depending heavily on the Argentine.
When it was revealed that Messi would spend a couple of months on the sidelines, Barcelona feared for the worst. However, they have been able to tide over this period largely by the brilliance of Neymar and Luis Suarez. The two strikers combined to provide a three-point advantage for the Catalan club in the la Liga table. It is a massive advantage for the team ahead of the first El Clasico this weekend.
Neymar and Suarez have almost played every game in the last couple of months, but manager Enrique says that he will not rest either of them for the upcoming Champions League match against Bate Borisov. This game appears to be an easy victory for the home team. A victory would put them closer towards qualification for the last 16, while other results going their way could also be a major help. BATE are bottom of the group but Barcelona are not significantly far ahead. The team had a disastrous opening game against Roma following a 1-1 draw.
Enrique is keen to avoid a drop in form by resting key players. “The objective is to beat Bate Borisov and to win the group. Obviously the importance of finishing first depends on who is second in the other groups but we want to give a message that we are ready and prepared. Last year I was able to do what I wanted with the amount of minutes that players had, even though I was criticised at the time, and now I am restricted by the number of players available. We will have players back soon, along with others available in January,” said Enrique.