FC Barcelona manager Luis Enrique wary of 'confident' Málaga
Ahead of Saturday's fixture, the Asturian confirms that Neymar Jr has returned from Brazil in peak condition and that Paco Alcácer will stand in for the suspended Luis Suárez
FC Barcelona face Málaga at the Camp Nou on Saturday afternoon (4.15pm CET), so after the final training session on Friday Luis Enrique faced the press for his pre-match press conference. Here’s a pick of the quotes from the Barça manager:
“Málaga have hit on their best run of form since the league started, so they’ll be buzzing with confidence. Under Juande Ramos they are nothing like the team of recent years. They don’t need to create many chances to generate danger.”
"We expect the same kind of things as we get from most teams that come to the Camp Nou. They'll play a bit further back and won’t create too much pressure up front. But they will cause danger in transitions and counter-attacks"
"Games after international breaks are like this. You don’t get to train very much with the full squad, so you need to be especially careful. Injuries? It is very important for us to have recovered some of the players, especially after this bad run of so many important players getting injured in a row. It is a positive thing to have each of those players back and it’s good for the team. It’ll improve our performances.”
“Most of the players have not had a break. They have been competing for their countries, and most of them were competitive matches. For the ones that stayed behind, however, it was nice to take time out and look at things from a different perspective.”
"I imagine that Messi will stay at Barça for many more years. It would be nice if he could end his career here. He’s the best player of all time. There’s so much difference between him and anyone else that it is almost ridiculous to question it.”
"I’m interested in Iniesta getting fit as quickly as possible, but I won’t be putting him under pressure. We have to observe his progress, and he’ll be ready when he’s ready.”
"We haven’t had an easy fixture list, with some difficult away games, but that doesn’t mean much in a competition like ours. With such a packed fixture list, we can’t draw any conclusions yet. There is still a very long way to go."
"This is a great chance for Paco Alcácer, and he’ll be starting tomorrow. But his aim is not just to score goals, but to help the team to win, and I’m sure he’ll have a great game."
"Neymar Jr is fine to play. He trained perfectly today. He’s quite used to situations like these."
"Rakuten? It’s a very positive agreement, in keeping with a club as big as this. It’s great news for all Barça fans.”