Luis Enrique says that he is betting big on the return of Andres Iniesta boasting the Barcelona team immensely ahead of the El Clasico of the season with Real Madrid.
After having been involved in two consecutive draws, there is immense pressure on Barcelona to win this match. Since the game is at the Camp Nou, the Barcelona players will also be feeling confident ahead of the tie. Numerous injuries and poor form have curtailed Barcelona’s defence of the league title. The club are in danger of falling nine points behind leaders Madrid if they lose the game.
The club has certainly struggled without the creative presence of Iniesta in the centre of the park. There has also been a major shift in terms of tactics compared with last season, as Barcelona are more focused on getting the ball to the forwards – Lionel Messi, Neymar, and Luis Suarez – as soon as possible.
Iniesta will turn 33 this season, but it has not prevented him from being a major influence on the team. He is yet to score in the league this season, but Iniesta is now more important in terms of being the controlling force in the game. He has been out of action since the 3-2 win over Valencia back in October.
Returning straight away to this big game will be a huge ask for his old legs.“The biggest news is that we’re getting Iniesta back, which has extra importance since he’s our captain. If there’s one player who helps most with our style, it’s him.It’s important to emerge victorious because they are a direct rival and we share similar aspirations.Beyond the final score, I don’t think this game will be decisive in La Liga – we’re only in week 14.In games like these, the standings have very little bearing on what happens out on the field,” said Enrique.