Barcelona host Espanyol at the Nou Camp on Saturday afternoon as they look to further tighten their grip on the La Liga title this season.
The Catalan giants are coming off the back of a win prior to the international break, which ensured that they have a healthy 10-point lead over nearest rivals Atletico Madrid with just 10 games to go.
However, they face a brutally busy schedule in the coming weeks, playing three times in the league in the space of a week before taking on Manchester United in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final on April 10.
The game before that pits them against title rivals Atleti, and so it is a crucial time of the campaign where coach Ernesto Valverde can’t afford to get anything wrong.
With that hectic fixture list in mind, the fans below have reacted to the Barcelona squad list for Espanyol, and have implored Valverde to rest key players including the likes of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.
Both picked up knocks over the international break and so it would seem to make sense to rest them both and avoid aggravating any existing issues, especially with their lead at the top in mind at this stage.
In contrast, Barcelona also don’t want to lose their momentum either and so it is a fine balancing act that has to be right in the coming weeks.
Valverde has plenty of quality depth though with the likes of Malcom, Kevin-Prince Boateng and Philippe Coutinho eager to impress, but time will tell if changes are made to his strongest XI this time round.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) March 29, 2019
Two matches in this week ? must rest some key players
— AMJAD Culé (@o_Firmino) March 29, 2019
Rest Messi and Suarez pic.twitter.com/QpotU9aFKE
— Jakaria Ahmed (@Jakaria26_) March 29, 2019
Don’t start Messi, just give some minutes
— ffm ?? (@loyalmessi) March 29, 2019
For heaven sake do not start Messi he needs to rest for the champions league
— Amina.AL (@AminaMinolasg) March 29, 2019
Rest Messi and Suarez.
— Hoosain Ebrahim (@HoosainEbrahim2) March 29, 2019
Can Valverde rest Suarez for once and five Prince an opportunity?
— Okwara Onyekachi (@valeron31) March 29, 2019
He should rest Suarez!! Prince is there to fill his void… What a crazy decision from the coach and the back ground staff’s.. ????????
— EminemYbnl (@EminemYbnl) March 29, 2019
— KU? (@KU08029561) March 29, 2019
Rest Messi. Isn’t needed. Can’t risk an injury at this stage.
— Martyn ??????? (@RFC_Martyn) March 29, 2019