MADRID (Sporting Alert) — Barcelona manager Luis Enrique has revealed that Luis Saurez will make his debut against Real Madrid in Saturday’s La Liga “El Classico” but will most likely start on the bench at the Santiago Bernabéu.
Saurez moved to the Camp Nou from Liverpool in the summer transfer window, but has not featured in a competitive game for the league leaders after serving a four-month ban for biting Italian defender Giorgio Chielline during a World Cup group clash in Brazil.
The Uruguay forward, who returned to action with the national team earlier this month, has played and scored in a few behind-closed door games to work on his match fitness.
After watching him in action, Enrique now knows that he’s seen enough to know that his new recruit is ready play against Real Madrid.
“He will have some minutes for sure, how many I cannot say,” the Barcelona manager said.
“It is a big thing for him, to join up finally with the team and get some minutes.”
This doesn’t, however, mean that Saurez will start the game with Enrique still trusting his current front three of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Pedro to lead the attack.
But with Messi scoring seven goals and Neymar netting eight so far this season, it doesn’t take a genius to see that Pedro (1) is the man who most likely will make way for Saurez when he officially comes into the starting XI.
“He’s happy to be available and the rest of us are happy about it too,” Andrés Iniesta said.
Barcelona also welcome back Spanish defensive midfielder Sergio Busquets, who returned to full training with the squad after he recovered from a hip injury.
“Busquets is very good,” Enrique said. “He has trained with everyone and, in theory, is available with no problems.”
Real Madrid, in the meantime, says defender Sergio Ramos could return to the starting team after overcoming an injury, but forward Gareth Bales, who also missed the Champions League win against Liverpool in midweek, remains on the sidelines with a muscle injury.