El Madrigal

Next Game

Villarreal v A Madrid

Wednesday, 29 April 2015, 21:00

Spanish Primera BBVA

Last Game

A Madrid 3 - 0 Elche

Saturday, 25 April 2015, 17:00

Spanish Primera BBVA

Primera Division preview

Lionel Messi is backing Barcelona to brush aside a dip in form and extend their lead at the top of the Primera Division standings when they take on Deportivo La Coruna on Saturday.

Last Updated: 08/03/13 at 10:47 Post Comment

Lionel Messi: Backing Barcelona to bounce back to form

Lionel Messi: Backing Barcelona to bounce back to form

Barcelona have suffered a blip of late with a 2-0 defeat by AC Milan in their Champions League last-16 first leg tie and back-to-back El Clasico losses against rivals Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey semi-final reverse and also in the league.

However, Messi believes the root of the problem has been pinpointed and Barca will be looking to put that into action this weekend against rock-bottom Deportivo ahead of their crunch European clash against Milan at the Nou Camp next Tuesday.

"We obviously need to give a little bit more. We have been losing recently but we know what we have to do to change things," Messi told the club's official

website.

"Losing hurts. We'll try to get over this situation. There's a very important match (against Milan) on the way. We know what the problems were in the games we lost. We talk about these things in the dressing room, and that's where they'll stay."

Messi also admitted the illnesses faced by coach Tito Vilanova and Eric Abidal have affected the squad. Vilanova has undergone treatment for throat cancer while defender Abidal has been recovering from a liver transplant.

"It affected us a lot and I think it has had its toll on the way we've performed in competitions," Messi said.

Barca will be without goalkeeper Victor Valdes for the meeting with Deportivo after he was banned for four games for insulting the referee following the 2-1 La Liga defeat at Real Madrid.

Valdes was shown a straight red card after confronting the referee at the final

whistle when Barca were not awarded a late penalty for Sergio Ramos' challenge on Adriano Correia.

Elsewhere, Atletico Madrid were given a boost this week ahead of their match against Real Sociedad when coach Diego Simeone agreed a new four-year deal with the club.

The news comes after speculation has linked the former Argentina international with a high-profile summer move after his successes at Atletico, which include winning the Europa League and the UEFA Super Cup in the first six months of his tenure

The Rojiblancos are currently second in the Primera Division standings, 11 points behind Barca but two ahead of Madrid rivals Real.

Real Betis play Osasuna on Friday night while Saturday sees Rayo Vallecano face Espanyol, Real Valladolid are at home to Malaga and Sevilla will be looking to build on their comprehensive win over Celta Vigo at Real Mallorca.

On Sunday, Athletic Bilbao take on Valencia in the early kick-off before Levante host Getafe and Celta Vigo are at home to Real Madrid, while Real Zaragoza host Granada on Monday.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

N

o credit to Brendan for playing an innovative 'False No.1' for the first half of the season?

balls-to-monty
Football365's Top Ten PL Goalkeepers

I

ve been really impressed by Adrian when I've seen West Ham matches. Really good keeper and has earnt the 'Ammers many a point this season. Wouldn't swap Lloris for anyone either, he's currently far too good for us.

dryice
Football365's Top Ten PL Goalkeepers

H

ow is Mignolet, most PL clean sheets this season, not a part of this list? Ridiculous!

mahzaib aziz
Football365's Top Ten PL Goalkeepers

Footer 365

Nigel Pearson warns Leicester winning run is worth nothing yet

Leicester boss Nigel Pearson is delighted to be out of the Premier League's bottom three but has warned his players they have achieved nothing yet.

Jose Mourinho expects tough battle for Chelsea at Leicester

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho expects Leicester to avoid relegation from the Premier League and is predicting a tough game on Wednesday.

PSG chief: Edinson Cavani not for sale

PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi says he would not even look at a £35m offer from Manchester United for Edinson Cavani.

Mail Box

Is Mrs Mediawatch A Brighton Fan?

The Mailbox stands firmly in Bournemouth's corner, Jose Mourinho is defended in force and Manchester City would want him if he was sacked at Chelsea...

Mourinho A 'Motivator Of Idiots'

The Mailbox asks whether Jose Mourinho is really that special or is he just 'a motivator of idiots?' And strikers don't come through at top clubs...apparently.

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company