FC Barcelona returns to action on Sunday in a very attractive game against Real Betis (16.15 hours), belonging to day 12 in the Santander League, marked by the return of Leo Messi after three weeks of low, and by the bad run of the Andalusians in the League, where they do not win since the end of September.
The Camp Nou will be the scene of a duel of many carats. Both teams will want to be protagonists. Barça, for the need to keep the first place and play at home; the Betis because it demands to punctuate with certain urgency. Three defeats in the last four days are not good symptoms for the green and white.
On the one hand, the return of Messi is a relief for a Barça has won four of the five games he has played without the Argentine. The only one who did not win was last Tuesday against Inter Milan in 'Champions', with the '10' culé in the stands of San Siro preparing his landing on Sunday in the league.
In his absence the best Luis Suárez has appeared, great news for Barça, who has 'recovered' the Uruguayan striker. A total of six goals, including the penalty that marked the day that Messi was injured, bring the charrúa to its best version, something that has taken advantage of the FC Barcelona scene in this section of the season. In addition, the contribution of others like Coutinho or Rakitic in the second line has been fundamental.
The Brazilian, precisely, will not be against Betis for a break in the femoral biceps that will force him to stay away from the playing fields between two and three weeks. Yes, there will be French Umtiti, that will occupy a place in the bank because his compatriot Lenglet is playing to the thousand wonders next to Piqué in the center of the rear. Vermaelen and Sergi Samper will not be there.
Nor will the Frenchman wear short Ousmane Dembélé, who has not even been summoned for the game against the Sevillians. According to several media, Dembélé did not show up at the training last Thursday, suffering from gastroenteritis, and did not warn the Barça club, something that has been very bad for Ernesto Valverde.
Betis, 20 years without winning at the Camp Nou
For its part, Betis will try to put an end to 20 years of bad luck in the Camp Nou, where it has not won since May 3, 1998. The set of Quique Setién, who stressed that Barça is still "a great team Messi is not there ", will propose a match from you to you, in his usual fight for possession and more elaborate football.
Good examples of this have been his last two games, both draws against Celta, in the League, and AC Milan, in the Europa League. Before the Italians deserved better luck, especially after a first part in which they made a game of high level aupados by the great adaptation of Lo Celso, one of the sensations in Betis.
Further, the good direction of Sergio Canales, the talent of Andrés Guardado and the gunpowder of the canterano Loren, the Paraguayan Sanabria or the 'national' Sergio Leon are a great endorsement to get excited about the Barcelona stadium. Francis and Javi Garcia are the only two casualties at Betis.
FC Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Sergi Roberto, Piqué, Lenglet, Jordi Alba; Busquets, Rakitic, Arthur; Rafinha, Messi, and Luis Suárez.
Real Betis: Pau López; Mandi, Francis, Junior, Bartra; Sidnei, Guardado, William Carvalho, Lo Celso; Canales and Loren.
Referee: Mateu Lahoz (C.Valenciano).
Stadium: Camp Nou.
Time: 4:15 pm / beIN LaLiga.