Barcelona boss Luis Enrique insists he is not worried by Neymar’s dip in form ahead of the league leaders’ home meeting with struggling Almeria tonight.
The Brazilian winger has dazzled at times this season but has been well below his best of late, failing to score in La Liga for nearly two months.
Neymar was particularly out of sorts in Sunday’s narrow victory at Celta Vigo, and his frustration became evident as television cameras spotted him blowing his nose in the face of opposing marker Hugo Mallo.
But Enrique said: “I’m not worried about him. He is out of this world as a player. The way he trains, I’m sure the goals will come back. He gives a lot of important things to the team.”
Most outsiders will regard tonight’s contest as a foregone conclusion against a team which is third from bottom after going seven games without a victory, but Enrique believes his team’s task could be complicated by the fact that Almeria will be led by a new manager, his former Barca teammate Sergi Barjuan.
Neymar in a charity match. https://t.co/cIZ2HT557m
— Football Vines (@Vine_Football) April 3, 2015
“It’s hard to know whether they’ll change, because Sergi will only have had one session with them,” said Enrique.
“But a change of manager can give a team fresh impetus and that is dangerous for us.”
Enrique will be without Sergio Busquets, who appeared to get himself deliberately booked by wasting time in the latter stages of Sunday’s win over Celta Vigo, prompting home midfielder Fabian Orellana to throw turf at Busquets and subsequently receive a straight red card.
Busquets misses tonight but is then back for Saturday’s trip to Sevilla.