Neymar Luis Suarez Barcelona
Barcelona forward Neymar and Luis Suarez celebrate a goal in the La Liga match against Leganes, September 17, 2016Reuters

Lionel Messi will be missing but Barcelona will still be confident of having enough firepower to see off the challenge of Sporting Gijon when the two teams meet in the La Liga on Saturday. Messi will not return before the next international break, after picking up a groin injury in the 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid.

After the midweek fixtures, Barcelona remain three points behind league leaders Real Madrid, who, like their title rivals, also could only pick up a point, when they drew 1-1 with Villarreal.

All three of the big La Liga teams – Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid – play matches they would expect to win on Saturday, which, in turn, ramps up the pressure on each of those teams, because they will know if they drop points, it is likely to be a blow, albeit a minor one in such an early part of the season, in the title race.

Barcelona have the advantage of putting the pressure on Real Madrid and Atletico by beating Sporting Gijon, and that is an advantage they will not want to throw away. The key to doing that will be how Neymar and Luis Suarez play in the absence of Messi. Last season, Neymar stepped up brilliantly as the leader of the attack, and Enrique will hope the Brazil superstar does the same again.

"Last year he (Messi) was out two-and-a-half months and the team responded fantastically," Enrique observed. "We've got more than enough resources to deal with it and beat any team.

"I am not going to ask anything more of him Neymar). I just want him to give it his all and play as well as he can. I don't ask for more effort, but maybe for them to play in different positions. That's my job.

"I don't think you'll see anything different this time compared with the last time Messi was out."

Barcelona will need to take their chances against Sporting Gijon, because they are playing a team who have made a reasonable start to the season, picking up two wins and a draw from five games. They currently sit 12th in the table, and what better way to really get the season going than by beating the champions.

"They reinforced their team," Enrique added on his former team. "But it's still the same team with the same character. They're very good at creating pressure, especially at home. They're good at transitions, they defend well at their own end, and their supporters really provide a boost."

"It will be as tough as any game we play away from home."

Where to Watch Live

Sporting Gijon vs Barcelona is set to begin at 7.45pm IST (4.15pm CET, 3.15pm BST, 10.15am ET) start. Live TV and streaming information is below.

India TV: Sony Six and Sony Six HD. Live Streaming: Sonyliv.

Spain: TV: Movistar and Bein Sports.

USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, France, Middle East, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand: TV: Bein Sports. Live Streaming: Bein Sports Connect.

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