Barcelona - Deportiva La Coruna Preview: Barca look to maintain top spot in La Liga
Messi scores in midweek (photo: ap)

As the gap between Barcelona and the likes of Atletico and Real Madrid tighten, the Catalans have to make sure they win the winnable games in La Liga, starting on Saturday.

Form

Barcelona have been one of the best teams in Europe this season and although they have drawn in their past two games, they are still one of the top dogs in La Liga and in the Champions League. Barcelona recently drew with Bayer Leverkusen in their last Champions League group stage match, but they still topped the group as Luis Enrique opted to go with a team filled with youth and rested many of his starters. Barcelona are also still at the top of La Liga but the gap at the top is decreasing. After their draw against Valencia, they only sit two points ahead of Atletico and only four points ahead of Real. If they slip again they could lose their top spot in Spain. 

It has been a surprising season for Deportivo La Coruna. They are sitting sixth in La Liga with 22 points and are only three points off 4th place Celta Vigo. For a team that struggled last year, La Coruna has had a great season so far. They also have a great away record  and drew with the Catalans the last time these two teams met. It will be an interesting matchup for sure. 

Team News

After reportedly suffering a hamstring injury against Bayer Leverkusen on Wednesday, Luis Enrique has told reporters that Leo Messi is fit to play in this fixture. 

Enrique also confirmed that Jeremy Mathieu and Sergi Roberto would be available for the fixture as well. 

What They're Saying

When asked about the injury to Neymar, Enrique said to reporters in the pre-game press conference (via ESPNFC) : "It's an unpleasant situation and we have to wait to see what the team doctor says,''. 

When asked about Messi, Enrique had more positive news (via ESPNFC) : `Messi is absolutely fine,''. 

Prediction 

This will be a tough draw for Barcelona as they face a Deportivo team with a good away record. On paper, this looks like a draw but Messi and company will find a way through with a win. 

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