La Liga Match Centre 

Defiant Barça host struggling Depor this Sunday

This Sunday sees La Liga’s hot property Barcelona host struggling Deportivo at the Camp Nou.

Cristobal Parralo’s men could take little confidence into this week’s showdown, as they impressively won all three points against an overachieving Leganés side at home last week.

Barcelona, though unbeaten and top of La Liga, haven’t exactly set the world alight since Neymar’s big money departure and have started to adopt an historically unfamiliar 4-4-2 formation.

Lucas Pérez seems to have found some kind of form at Deportivo, impressively hitting the back of the net four times so far in 17th-placed Depor’s disappointing campaign to date.

Lionel Messi, who has bagged 14 goals already, is the shining light so far this season, but without the notorious MSN can Ernesto Valverde’s boys replicate last season’s 4-0 home thriller?

Barcelona are currently 2nd in the form table at home and would be extremely confident of a result this weekend, potentially taking them 8 points clear of Valencia if Eibar can pull off a shock result.

Ousmane Dembele, originally due back to first team duties on 18 December, is still out, along with Samuel Umtiti, with Javier Mascherano predicted to take his place for Saturday’s fixture. There will be no real changes in the Deportivo side with only Federico Cartabia missing with a thigh issue.

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This tie could start an extremely defensive affair until the first goal goes in. If Barça draw blood first, there will be fears for Deportivo’s chances.

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