Crisis in Catalunia. Barcelona were first beaten by Milan before falling twice to Madrid and there has now been talk that the league leaders could even surrender their hefty points advantage in La Liga over the Madrid clubs.
That, however, does remain highly unlikely with Real priced at 33/1 to complete a monumental comeback and Atletico at 50/1. It would need an almighty collapse from the Catalans but it is not inconceivable they could drop points this weekend when Deportivo come to visit the Nou Camp.
All attentions for Barca now turn to the return leg of their Champions League tie with Milan this coming Tuesday so inevitably players will want to hold energy in reserve. Victor Valdes will definitely sit the game out having been sent off after full-time in el Clasico last weekend and Xavi is unlikely to start as he looks to recover from a hamstring injury which saw him miss last week’s game with Madrid.
In all truth, it matters little which players Barca field though. Whether it’s Messi or Tello, the team lining up for the home side will be far superior to their opposition. Let’s put it in context. Barca lost to two of Europe’s top teams in recent weeks – Deportivo sit bottom of the table and are almost certain to be relegated.
The visitors will also be without top scorer Riki as well as Ze Castro and perhaps most importantly former Spain international Marchena in defence. Whilst Barca may call upon a pool of talent that runs throughout the entire organisation, Deportivo have limited resources. Even without injuries and suspensions, La Coruna have won only three times this season with their last victory coming some nine games ago.
This should be a good opportunity for Barcelona to build confidence ahead of the Milan game so expect no mercy to be shown as the hosts aim to salvage some lost pride. William Hill offer 7/4 that Barca open the scoring within the first fifteen minutes which we like the look of – they were 2-0 up after eight minutes in the previous meeting this season.
If they get the early goal, it could well be a rout so backing Barca -3 at odds of 17/10 with Ladbrokes may also be a good bet.