BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — If Lionel Messi listens to Actual Betis and sits out one other match, Barcelona will seemingly must depend on Antoine Griezmann to lastly get some factors on the board.
Betis, which visits the Camp Nou on Sunday, responded to a tweet by Barcelona that Messi was again to training with the staff for the primary time since being injured within the preseason by saying: ”Do not rush, Leo. No want so that you can drive it!”
Barcelona could not make up for Messi’s absence final weekend when its assault was held scoreless in a 1-Zero loss at Athletic Bilbao.
That was the primary time the two-time defending champions had misplaced a Spanish league opener in a decade. And after each Actual Madrid and Atletico Madrid gained, the strain is on.
Barcelona acquired Griezmann after triggering the 120 million euro ($133 million) buyout clause in his contract with rival Atletico. The France ahead was presupposed to be the fourth piece to an already world class assault that includes Messi, Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele. However Griezmann could also be left with all of the scoring accountability in his aggressive dwelling debut.
Messi strained his proper calf within the staff’s first follow of the season on Aug. 5 and hasn’t performed since. Though it’s doable he shall be again to face Betis, Suarez will not be after he injured a proper leg muscle within the first half at Bilbao. Dembele has additionally been dominated out for a number of weeks with a left thigh damage.
Philippe Coutinho, who may have helped out as an attacking participant, is not with the staff after being loaned out to Bayern Munich this week. Malcom, a Brazilian ahead who performed sparingly for Barcelona final season, was offered to Zenit St. Petersburg.
Griezmann had a lackluster match at Bilbao. His solely good scoring probability at San Mames Stadium got here within the remaining minutes with a header.
The Frenchman, nonetheless, is used to carrying a staff on his again.
Griezmann was a constant scorer for Atletico, tallying greater than 20 objectives a season for 5 consecutive years regardless of the staff typically not having one other attacking menace to attract away a number of the consideration of opposing defenses.
The issue at Bilbao, he mentioned, was merely ”the ball did not go in.”
The opposite participant who may benefit from the chance created by the accidents is 21-year-old Carles Perez, a member of Barcelona’s reserve staff. He impressed within the preseason, even scoring two objectives in a 2-Zero win over Japanese membership Vissel Kobe, the place former Barcelona nice Andres Iniesta now performs.
Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde included Perez in Wednesday’s staff follow.
Betis was the one staff to beat Barcelona at its dwelling stadium final season, outgunning the hosts 4-3.
Since then it has modified coaches, changing the attack-minded Quique Setien with the extra conservative Joan ”Rubi” Ferrer, who led Espanyol to a Europa League berth. Barcelona additionally poached considered one of its prime gamers, left again Junior Firpo.
Betis misplaced its Spanish league opener, falling 2-1 to Valladolid at dwelling.
The final time Betis performed Barcelona was in Seville in March. Messi scored three objectives and obtained a standing ovation from the Betis followers.