Barcelona will be boosted by the return of Brazilian forward Neymar for Saturday’s La Liga match against Malaga at the Cam Nou. Neymar missed out on Barcelona’s UEFA Super Cup final as well as the Spanish Super Cup and last weekend’s 1-0 win at Athletic Bilbao after being sidelined with mumps. However, the 23-year-old, who scored 29 goals and set up seven more to help Barcelona win the Primera Division, Copa del Rey and Champions League treble last season, is ready to play again.
“Neymar has a special physique,” Barcelona coach Luis Enrique said on the club’s official website. “He gets in shape really fast.
“That opens the door for him to have the possibility of playing.”
Barcelona will begin their Champions League title defense at Luis Enrique’s former club Roma next month. The defending European champions will also take on Bayer Leverkusen and BATE in Group E.
“To return to the Stadio Olimpico will be special,” Luis Enrique said. “We have a difficult group and Roma will be our biggest rival.
“Moreover, we start and finish the group stages on the road.”
Luis Enrique also expects a tough match against Malaga, who held Sevilla to a goalless draw in their league opener.
“It’s going to be a difficult match,” he said on Friday. “It’s an attractive challenge for us.
“Last year we weren’t able to beat them and tomorrow we expect a big test.”
Barcelona are still without defender Gerard Pique, who will serve his second part of a four-match ban.