Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde has revealed that he’s optimistic that Luis Suarez will recover from injury in time to face Espanyol this weekend.
The Uruguayan forward has bagged nine goals and provided six assists in 18 appearances so far this season, but has been absent for the last two games due to a knee injury.
Although the Catalan giants won both games without him against PSV Eindhoven and Villarreal respectively, Valverde was forced into a tactical switch with Lionel Messi playing through the middle.
However, the Spanish tactician has now revealed at his press conference on Tuesday evening that Suarez is in contention to make his comeback against Espanyol this weekend, as noted by Mundo Deportivo.
“We are optimistic that Luis Suarez will be ready for the derby on Saturday. He won’t be ready against Cultural,” he is quoted as saying ahead of the Copa del Rey outing in midweek.
Given the influence that Suarez has for Barcelona on and off the ball, it will be a huge boost for the La Liga champions to have him back available as they head into the busy festive period with games coming thick and fast.
With that in mind, Valverde will hope to have as close to a fully fit squad as possible, and adding Suarez’s threat in the final third will certainly make them more of a dangerous proposition for any side.
Nevertheless, he hasn’t officially been given the green light as of yet from the medical staff, but it does sound likely that the stalwart will be available for Valverde this weekend as Barcelona look to extend their one point lead at the top of the table.