Barcelona will return to action this week on Saturday in an away game against relegation-threatened Mallorca in an empty Son Moix Stadium. The La Liga leaders, who will travel with full strength, will be looking to resume the 2019-20 season on a positive note after a gap of almost three months due to the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The enforced lay-off due to the coronavirus has allowed Luis Suarez to recover from the knee operation he had in January, while Antoine Griezmann commented earlier in the week that the break had granted him the physical and mental rest he hadn’t been able to enjoy in the last five years, reports Xinhua news agency.
However, the problems for Barcelona coach Quique Setien would be the absence of central defender Clement Lenglet due to suspension which is carried over from Barca’s last game before the lay-off. Samuel Umtiti, who is likely to guard the position in Lenglet’s absence, is also in doubt.
Winger Ousmane Dembele is also missing from training, while youngster Ansu Fati has been working in the gym and is unlikely to travel with the team.
However, the frontline looks raring to go with Luis Suarez recovered from surgery and Lionel Messi also declared fit after a minor injury. Although with games every three days, Setien will be anxious to protect his star players.
La Liga has remained suspended since March due to the crisis caused by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. But with the number of fresh cases decreasing massively, Spain’s Higher Council of Sports (CSD) announced that it had agreed with the plans of the Royal Spanish Federation (REFF) to restart the top-flight league.
According to their announcement, the league would resume on June 11 with the Sevilla derby between Real Betis and Sevilla. The following weekends of June 13 and 14 would see the remaining matches of the round.
With IANS inputs