Lionel Messi Barcelona
Barcelona forward Lionel Messi will be the cynosure in the La Liga game against OsasunaReuters

With Lionel Messi back in the fray, Barcelona will be confident of picking up their ninth win in as many La Liga games when they travel to Osasuna on Saturday.

Messi has missed Barca's last two matches with a thigh injury, but has been added to the squad after returning to training earlier in the week.

Barcelona are perfect so far in La Liga, with eight wins from eight matches, and will look to equal Real Madrid's record of opening a season with nine straight wins, set way back in the 1968/69 campaign.

"They are always talking about the number of matches and records and things like that," Barcelona manager Gerardo Martino said. "It doesn't change the way I have been thinking for the last few weeks.

"What really matters is where we are at the end of the season, that's all that goes down in history. Things weren't resolved last week, and neither is this a decisive week. They are all important matches, but things are only just starting."

Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets, who Martino confirmed will start the game on Saturday, is expecting a tough 90 minutes against Osasuna, despite the side from Pamplona struggling at third from bottom with just six points all season.

"The match on Saturday is very important and we, the players, know that we first have to play Osasuna, they are a tough team to beat at home," he said. "We've always had a hard time in their stadium, but we'll try to come back with the three points."

Team News: Apart from the return of Messi, Barcelona also welcome Carles Puyol, who makes a comeback from a long-term injury, and Javier Mascherano.

"(Puyol) is excited to be back in the team," Martino said. "For somebody who has achieved what he has achieved and won what he has won, it excites me too. His spirit will make up for his lack of matches and being out for six months. It's as if he was making his first division debut."

Martino has decided to rest Dani Alves, Gerard Pique and Alexis Sanchez, with a big Champions League game and the El Clasico against Real Madrid looming large.

Osasuna will be without Alvaro Cejudo (suspension), while Raoul Leo (thigh), Roberto Torres, Echaide, Nino (all knee) and Miguel Flano are all doubtful.

Where to watch

The match is scheduled for a 11.30 p.m. (IST) start with live coverage on Star Sports 2. You can also catch the match live online by clicking the official link HERE.

Expected lineups: Osasuna: Fernandez; Damia, Arribas, Loties, Bertran; Loe, Punal; Armenteros, Silva, Sisi; Riera.

Barcelona: Valdes; Montoya, Mascherano, Bartra, Adriano; Fabregas, Busquets, Iniesta; Pedro, Messi, Neymar.

Prediction: 3-0 to Barcelona