Tito Vilanova faces a mini injury crisis tomorrow, with the left back Jordi Alba suffering from some flu like illness and Alexis returning from the international break with muscle pain. Andres Iniesta has already been withdrawn and so there is a missing player in defence, midfield and attack.
Another problem, although it will probably come to nothing is the possible tiredness of the Argentinian genius Leo Messi. Barca’s number 10 has just returned from a long trip to South America where he played the full 90 minutes against Paraguay and Peru. Messi did seem to be a bit jaded against Peru, and Vilanova will not want to risk burning out his star striker.
Messi has not missed a minute of football since the start of the season, including two legs of the Spanish Supercup against Real Madrid. This does not normally affect the Argentine international, as Vilanova has said before he is not like everybody else. The boss does have the option of David Villa who is back to full fitness, as well as Pedro and Tello who have looked impressive so far. Barca have also promoted Gerard Deulofeu from FC Barcelona B after the 18-year old scored four times in his first three games this season.
Barca will have the bonus of getting the captain back. Carlos Puyol has recovered from his broken cheekbone and has got a special protective mask to wear. Vilanova has insisted that Puyol will play, which will lift the whole team.
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