Barcelona face Atletico Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano on Saturday night, and coach Ernesto Valverde could be handed a boost from Philippe Coutinho.
The Catalan giants will be looking to bounce back after their disappointing defeat to Real Betis prior to the international break, as they shipped four goals at home.
That leaves them with a slender one-point lead over Sevilla, Atleti and Alaves after 12 games in La Liga, and so the pressure is certainly on this weekend to come away from the Spanish capital with a positive result.
Coutinho missed that encounter with Betis due to a muscle injury, while he was spared international duty due to the same problem.
However, as noted by Goal.com, and as seen in the tweet below where he was pictured in training for a second consecutive day, the Brazilian international looks as though he’s on course to at least push for a place in the squad for the trip to Madrid.
Aside from the fact that he’s likely to be short of match fitness having not played for three weeks or so now, there is also the concern that Valverde may have in not wanting to bring him back too quickly.
With that in mind, it would come as no surprise if he is left on the bench initially on Saturday, but it will certainly be a boost for Barcelona to have him possibly available and pushing for a return as they also have clashes with PSV, Villarreal, Espanyol and Tottenham in the space of a fortnight.
Coutinho has been influential so far this season, scoring five goals and providing four assists in 16 appearances in all competitions. In turn, his return will be a welcome boost for Barcelona.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) November 22, 2018