Barcelona will have the chance to continue their excellent league form when they take on lowly Malaga on Saturday night.
The Blaugrana have dropped just two points in La Liga so far this season and made it three wins out of three in the Champions League by beating Olympiacos in midweek.
They host Malaga at Camp Nou with Michel’s men still winless and sitting rock bottom of the table having endured a disastrous start to the campaign.
|Game||Barcelona vs Malaga|
|Date||Saturday, October 21|
|Time||19:45 BST / 14:45 ET|
TV CHANNEL & LIVE STREAM
In the UK, the match will be available to watch live on television on Sky Sports Football or by stream via Sky Go.
In addition, dabblebet customers with a funded or active account can watch and bet on the match live.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
|Sky Sports Football||Sky Go / dabblebet|
In the US, the match will be available to watch live on television on beIN Sports and by stream via beIN Sports Connect.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
|beIN Sports||beIN Sports Connect|
SQUADS & TEAM NEWS
|Goalkeepers||Ter Stegen, Cillessen|
|Defenders||Semedo, Pique, Mascherano, Digne, Umtiti|
|Midfielders||Rakitic, Busquets, D. Suarez, Iniesta, Paulinho, Roberto, Gomes|
|Forwards||L. Suarez, Messi, Alcacer, Deulofeu|
Ousmane Dembele and Rafinha remain out for Barca, while Jordi Alba missed the Olympiakos match due to a thigh problem and will be absent again.
Arda Turan, Aleix Vidal and Thomas Vermaelen will not feature this weekend, with Ernesto Valverde naming his 18-man squad on Friday.
Potential starting XI: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Pique, Umtiti, Digne; Rakitic, Busquets, Iniesta; Deulofeu, Messi, L. Suarez.
|Goalkeepers||Cengo, Prieto, Kellyan|
|Defenders||Hernandez, Juankar, Cifu, Rosales, Baysse, Torres,|
|Midfielders||Rolon, Adrian, Juanpi, Chory, Cecchini, Keko, Robles, Mula|
|Forwards||Borja, Penaranda, Rolan|
Malaga will be missing Roberto, Javi Ontiveros, Zdravko Kuzmanovic and Jony, while captain Recio is suspended after being sent off against Leganes.
Potential starting XI: Prieto; Rosales, Hernandez, Baysse, Juankar; Cecchini, Rolon; Mula, Juanpi, Rolan; Penaranda.
BETTING & MATCH ODDS
Barcelona are 1/16 favourites to win, according to dabblebet, with Malaga priced at 33/1 and the draw available at 12/1.
Click here to view dabblebet’s full selection of available match markets.
There is a tougher stretch to come for Barcelona but for now, they are racking up the points.
The Catalans are virtually assured of Champions League progression at the halfway stage of the first round and have a four-point lead at the top of La Liga – five over likely title rivals Real Madrid.
Most have been cautious in dubbing Barca back to their best under Ernesto Valverde and that is probably fair, given they have a string of games to come that will serve as a more thorough assessment of their trophy-winning credentials.
But for now they are essentially giving themselves a head start, with the first Clasico of the campaign still two months away.
Now there is a balancing act for Valverde, who must ensure his best players remain fresh while not putting his team’s current momentum at risk by rotating too much.
In that regard, the next week – with this match against a struggling side and a Copa del Rey tie against lower-league Real Murcia – may offer him a chance to give a few of his stars a break.