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FC Barcelona face a key week with regards to their league title aspirations with two home games at Camp Nou in the space of just four days. On Saturday they face Celta Vigo, a club Luis Enrique knows well from his time there as coach before returning to FC Barcelona. However, on Wednesday the blaugranes face a club that the current coach knows even better, Sporting Gijón. “I have been a Sporting fan since the day I was born and I always wish them the best, but tomorrow I was all three points,” said the Asturian of his home town club where he began his illustrious playing career.

Barça’s league title hopes received a great boost on Sunday when they claimed a 2-1 win over Atlético in the Calderón, three points that Luis Enrique described as “vital” in keeping up the pressure on league leaders Real Madrid. There was more good news as he revealed that two important members of the squad could make their returns to action after injury. “Mascherano and Arda have trained with the rest of the squad today and tomorrow [Wednesday] the medical staff will confirm if they are available or not,” said Luis Enrique.

Sporting Gijón currently find themselves in the relegation zone in La Liga, two points from safety. New man in charge Rubí, a former member of the FC Barcelona coaching staff, has picked up just one win from his six games in charge at the club. Nevertheless, Luis Enrique believes he has had an impact: “Sporting have changed tactically all over the field and now perhaps they are more attacking.”

“They are a dangerous side, as are all the sides down the bottom of the table because time is running out in the battle against relegation.”

Finally, asked if the side were too dependent on the talents of Leo Messi, Luis Enrique replied: “He’s the best player in the world and it’s only natural to rely on him. Let’s hope we can rely on him for many years to come.” 

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