Jordi Roura has a big task ahead of him this weekend and next week. Barcelona are in a funk after two straight losses to Real Madrid and face a must win match against AC Milan on Tuesday. Until then, they have to deal with Deportivo La Coruña who are fighting frantically against relegation.
Roura will likely rest several key starters in advance of the Milan match but even with those changes this is a match that Barcelona should win. Because of that, a victory won't really prove things are turning around, but the potential for panic is there should Depor pull off a draw or a win.
Last place Deportivo's task of beating Barcelona, even a weakened Barcelona, has gotten tougher with the news that leading scorer Riki will miss the match with a muscle injury. Depor will also be without defenders Carlos Marchena and Ze Castro, compouding head coach Fernando Vázquez's selection problems even more. He'll need a big game from Pizzi, who scored twice against Barca in the team's first meeting of the season, if Depor have any hope of stealing a result.
Barcelona injuries and suspensions
Out: Xavi Hernandez (hamstring), Victor Valdes (suspended), Marc Barta (knee).
Deportivo La Coruña injuries and suspensions
Out: Ze Castro(muscle), Riki (muscle), Kaká (hamstring), Laure (sports hernia), Carlos Marchena (suspended).
Xavi is still working back from a second hamstring injury in the last two months and will be unavailable. Starting goalkeeper Victor Valdés begins his four match ban for confronting the referee after last week's Clasico. Gerard Piqué is serving a one-match ban for card accumulation. Depor have major issues with striker Riki out along with starting central defender Carlos Marchena suspended.
Match Date/Time: 8 p.m. local, 2 p.m. ET
Venue: Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain
TV: beIN Sport USA, beIN Sport en Español (U.S.), Sky Sports 4 (U.K.), Gol T, Canal+ (Spain)