Barcelona on the brink of winning La Liga ahead of visit to Deportivo

Sport360 staff 28/04/2018
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On the brink: Barcelona.

Barcelona will walk out to a guard of honour at Riazor on Sunday to end an emotional week in which Andres Iniesta announced he is leaving the club this summer.

Deportivo La Coruna have confirmed they will acknowledge Barca’s Copa del Rey success, while Ernesto Valverde‘s men could even have La Liga sewn up before the game kicks off.

If Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid fail to win, Barcelona’s third title in four seasons will be secured on Sunday afternoon. If not, they only need to draw in the late game to seal the championship.

Tears were flowing on Friday as Iniesta held a farewell press conference.

The 33-year-old’s next destination is not yet known, but team-mate Lionel Messi was the latest player to pay a glowing tribute to the midfield maestro.

The Argentinian said in a lengthy Instagram post: “Andres, thanks for all these years of football.

“It was a privilege to enjoy this sport by your side and spend so many unforgettable moments together.

“I wish you all the best in this new era for you, on a sporting level and in life. You are a phenomenon on and off the pitch. Without a doubt, we’re going to miss you.”

Iniesta is expected to start, but Sergi Roberto is suspended against a Deportivo side that are 11 points adrift of safety with 12 to play for.

However, defender Raul Albentosa insists they will keep fighting and told the club’s official website: ”

Barcelona are a big team that want to come and win the league, and we want to get out of this sticky situation whichever way possible.

“We still have options and we have to make the most of them until the end.”

Pedro Mosquera and Lucas Perez have trained without a problem this week and will be in contention for the home side.

Eneko Boveda, Adrian and Sidnei will be monitored, with the latter suffering a hamstring problem in midweek.

Provided by Press Association Sport

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What Barcelona need to do this weekend to win the La Liga title

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The King: Lionel Messi.

Barcelona can wrap up their 25th La Liga crown this weekend with a win away against Deportivo La Coruna at the Riazor on Sunday.

The Catalan giants have destiny in their own hands and could even be crowned champions before a ball is even kicked, should Atletico Madrid fail to beat Alaves and Real Madrid not win at home to Leganes.

With five matches left (carrying a game in hand against Villarreal due to their Copa del Rey final last weekend), Barcelona hold a commanding 11-point lead at the top as well as superior goal average in head-to-head meetings with their two closest rivals

A title win, following domestic cup success, would mean Ernesto Valverde has done the double in his first season in charge.

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Philippe Coutinho starts for Barcelona in Copa del Rey final

Sport360 staff 21/04/2018
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Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde plumped for Philippe Coutinho in his starting line-up for Saturday’s Copa del Rey final against Sevilla.

Coutinho was preferred to Ousmane Dembele and Paulinho for the showdown at the Wanda Metropolitano, with Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi up front as expected.

Andres Iniesta also started, in what could prove to be the Spaniard’s last tournament final before he departs for China.

Sevilla, looking to upset Barca’s hopes of winning a domestic double this season, went with Luis Muriel up front, while Steven Nzonzi and Ever Banega were entrusted with winning the battle in midfield.

Starting line-ups for the Copa del Rey final between Barcelona and Sevilla at the Wanda Metropolitano on Saturday:

Barcelona (4-3-3)
Jasper Cillessen, Sergi Roberto, Gerard Pique, Samuel Umtiti, Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets, Ivan Rakitic, Andres Iniesta, Philippe Coutinho, Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez

Sevilla (4-3-3)
David Soria, Clement Lenglet, Ever Banega, Joaquin Correa, Steven Nzonzi, Jesus Navas, Pablo Sarabia, Sergi Escudero, Luis Muriel, Franco Vazquez, Gabriel Mercado

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