Neymar and Pedro set for Barcelona return

The attacking duo provide the Catalans with a boost ahead of their opening fixture of the Primera Division season, with Elche the visitors to Camp Nou on Sunday
Barcelona coach Luis Enrique is hopeful that Neymar and Pedro will be fit for the Catalan club's Primera Division opener against Elche on Sunday.

Brazil forward Neymar was rated as doubtful for the first league game after suffering a sprained ankle in training on Thursday.

The former Santos man had only just returned following a fractured vertebra picked up during the World Cup but Enrique has revealed the 22-year-old has trained ahead of the weekend.

Winger Pedro's participation in the clash was also in doubt as he was suffering from gastroenteritis but the Spain international could also line up against Fran Escriba's side.

"Neymar? We'll see tomorrow if he will play. Pedro? Same, he trained normally today. In principle, I count on both of them," Enrique said at a press conference on Saturday.

The new Barca boss expects his side to play with flair and be the great entertainers in Spanish football this season but sees champions Atletico Madrid as favourites despite the fact that they have sold key players.

"No team will beat us in excitement and motivation," he declared.

"Atletico are the champions so they are the favourites this season. Maximum respect."

The 44-year-old also hopes to see more new faces arrive at the club before the transfer window closes - with the belated enforcement of a ban on signings set to follow it.

"We have made great signings so far but we keep on monitoring the transfer market and can still strengthen the squad," Luis Enrique added.