Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde has named his squad for the clash with Espanyol this weekend as the Catalan giants look to extend their lead at the top of La Liga.
The reigning champions begin the weekend just a point above Sevilla, and so they’ll be fully aware that they can’t afford to drop points if they wish to head into the winter break on top of the pile.
Valverde’s side are now on a three-game winning streak across all competitions, as they followed up their win over Villarreal last weekend by sweeping aside Cultural Leonesa in the Copa del Rey in midweek.
Having rested a number of key players for that outing, Barcelona bring back as close to a fully-fit squad as possible for this derby clash as they’ll hope that the break has allowed them to recharge the batteries.
Time will tell if that benefits them, but as seen in the tweets below, several fans were left questioning the absence of Arthur from the squad and were disappointed he isn’t able to feature.
As noted by Sport, both the Brazilian midfielder and Luis Suarez were expected back in the squad for this weekend, but it’s only the latter who has seemingly received the green light as he makes his comeback from injury.
It remains to be seen if Valverde immediately restores him to his line-up up front or continues with Lionel Messi through the middle and allows the Uruguayan stalwart a little more time to regain his full fitness.
Nevertheless, it’s a positive sign that’s able to rejoin the squad, but it seemingly will take Arthur a little longer to fully recover from his issue.
Barcelona and Valverde will be hoping that they have enough to see off Espanyol and continue to end 2018 on a positive note.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) December 7, 2018
chorando de sdd de ver o arthur jogando
— magali (@_anaamatoos) December 7, 2018
Is Arthur still injured or?
— ????? ? (@IrinaMaylander) December 7, 2018
Sin Arthur ?
— Pep (@LioneIMessio) December 7, 2018
No Arthur? pic.twitter.com/mj4305epgh
— Rithik ? (@TheUmtitiWay) December 7, 2018
No Arthur 🙁
— mx (@LioMessi10i) December 7, 2018
Artur no esta bien ?? Xq no lo convocan
— J.C (@oliuj_51) December 7, 2018
— guilherme (@bazrcelona) December 7, 2018
No llega Arthur ??
— NIVY (@NIVYrex) December 7, 2018
— Sergio Moreno (@sergio01601) December 7, 2018
El pistolero is back ? pic.twitter.com/liE1IN5omY
— Messias (@_Coutinhazo) December 7, 2018
@LuisSuarez9 is back!!!!!!
— ?????????????? (@ChaaliiyKay) December 7, 2018