Barcelona - Sporting Gijon Preview: Messi suspended as Catalan giants welcome Javier Clemente's side to Camp Nou

The Argentine maestro has picked up five yellow cards this season and misses the match as Pep Guardiola's side attempt to maintain their pursuit of Real Madrid



Alves, Puyol, Mascherano, Adriano
Xavi, Keita, Iniesta
Alexis, Cesc, Pedro


Lora, Botia, Gregory, Canella
Cases, Rivera
Carmelo, Castro, Cuevas

The main concern for Barcelona is the absence of Lionel Messi due to suspension after the Argentine picked up his fifth yellow card this season and will miss the match at Camp Nou. Sergio Busquets will also miss the match as a result of a ban.

Pep Guardiola also has some injury problems going into the match. Eric Abidal and Thiago both returned from international duty having picked up problems; the Frenchman is out for 10 days due to a hip concern and the young Spaniard suffered an knock to his right tibia. David Villa and Ibrahim Afellay are long-term absentees and will also miss the match.

Javier Clemente will be missing Adrian Colunga for the match as the striker has been suffering from thigh and groin pains, and will be out for three weeks.

  • Barcelona and Sporting have met each other 40 times in Barcelona in La Liga. Barca have won 35 times, Sporting only once.
  • Lionel Messi is suspended for the match. The last time the Catalans lost a match without Messi making an appearance was in a 1-0 defeat against Osasuna at Camp Nou in May 2009.
  • Barcelona have scored 131 goals in 44 official matches this season. The Catalans have 16 matches remaining this season to break the club record for most goals, which is 158 in 62 matches in 2008-09.
  • Barcelona have scored 131 goals in 44 official matches this season. The Catalans have a minimum of 16 matches remaining this season to break
    the club record for most goals which is 158 in 62 matches in 2008/09.
    Javier Clemente's side, along with Real Zaragoza, have conceded the most goals in La Liga this season (45).
  • Sporting’s last win against the Catalans was on September 4, 1994 in a 2-1 victory at home.
  • Sporting Gijon suffered their biggest ever La Liga defeat against Barcelona, on 10 February 1952 (9-0 at Camp Nou).