Barcelona fans are still reeling from the shock La Liga defeat dished out by newly promoted Alaves at the weekend, so Luis Enrique is looking for an instant and emphatic return to form tonight against the Scottish champions Celtic in the first of the Champions League group games.
The main reason for that defeat in post people’s eyes was the manager’s decision to make seven changes and leave key players like Andres Iniesta, Gerard Pique, Luis Suarez and of course Lionel Messi on the bench and one of the reasons he would have done it was to keep them fresh for tonight.
If it does not pay off then Enrique will come in for some huge criticism, as there is a theory that it is better to keep playing well and winning games to build confidence than it is to chop and change to give players a break. Celtic have given us problems before, although mainly in the away games, but they will be boosted by a thumping Old Firm win over Rangers at the weekend while the Barca players may be licking their wounds.
A fast start and an early goal would be great for Barca, but however it happens a return to winning ways tonight is an absolute must, especially with Man City in the group.