Josep Guardiola / FOTO: ARCHIVE FCB

An odd week started for Josep Guardiola and his team on Monday. With so many players away on international duty, only Keita, Pedro and Pinto are left in Barcelona. That means work can't really begin on the league game with Sporting at the Camp Nou until Thursday evening, when everyone is due back.

So there was a strange feel to the training session at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper today, with the remaining trio of Pedro, Keita and Pinto working out with Eusebio Sacristán's B team and then being told that they can take Tuesday and Wednesday off.

Thursday: focus on Sporting

The training session planned for 18.00 at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper on Thursday should involve the normal squad, and it is only then that the players will be able to focus properly on the forthcoming match. They will meet again on Friday morning at 11.00, at the same place, after which Josep Guardiola will be giving a pre-match press conference. All Barça's international players will be back on training on Thursday with the exception of Alexis Sánchez who returns on Friday after Chile's game in the USA.

Saturday midday

As usual when there are home fixtures at the Camp Nou, Guardiola will also be holding a session on the morning of the match. That will take place in the stadium itself at 11.30, this time behind closed doors. The players will eat at the Camp Nou before having some time off before reassembling at the same place at 18.15. The match with the Asturian outfit kicks off at 20.00. The plan is then for the squad to take all Sunday off.