The long awaited return if the Barcelona club captain Carles Puyol is great news, but I am slightly concerned that he is going to be thrown back into action with a fairly unfamiliar back four. The 35-year old centre back has not played with the Barcelona first team for a massive 247 days, so it would be no surprise if he was a bit rusty and took some time to get back into the swing of things.
Because FC Barcelona have started this season at breakneck speed, putting the disappointment of the latter end of last season behind them, it is difficult to get any sort of decent odds on them to win games, even when it comes to playing the big spending giants of Spanish football Real Madrid.
One of the main reasons that FC Barcelona pushed through the transfer of Neymar from Santos this summer was what happened with Lionel Messi last season. The Argentine striker has a fantastic injury record, especially when you consider how many games he plays and how often he gets fouled. But it was bound to happen, and his injury problems towards the end of last season coincided with Barcelona’s worst run of games in a long time.
Barcelona were determined not to let a couple of games, including the first league defeat of the season, derail the Barca juggernaut, and a 5-1 defeat of Osasuna at the Nou Camp was just what was needed, especially with a visit to the Bernabeu coming up on Wednesday. Christiano Ronaldo had scored a hat-trick for Real Madrid in an earlier kick-off, but he will have had his day spoilt by Lionel Messi eclipsing his achievement once again and scoring four.