Barcelona Predictions, Players to Watch Before Final 2019 International Break

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistOctober 12, 2019

BARCELONA, SPAIN - OCTOBER 06: Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona scores their team's fourth goal after this free kick during the Liga match between FC Barcelona and Sevilla FC at Camp Nou on October 06, 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Barcelona will hope to be top of La Liga by the next international break in November.

The Blaugrana are second, two points behind Real Madrid, but they'll have the opportunity to leapfrog their rivals in October 26's El Clasico.

They'll also have two matches against Slavia Prague in the UEFA Champions League, in which they sit second in Group F after a draw with Borussia Dortmund and a win against Inter Milan.

Here's a look at their upcoming fixtures with predictions for each, and read on for a look at players to watch:

Oct. 19: Eibar vs. Barcelona, La Liga (0-2)

Oct. 23: Slavia Prague vs. Barcelona, Champions League (1-2)

Oct. 26: Barcelona vs. Real Madrid, La Liga (3-1)

Oct. 29: Barcelona vs. Real Valladolid, La Liga (3-0)

Nov. 2: Levante vs. Barcelona, La Liga (1-3)

Nov. 5: Barcelona vs. Slavia Prague, Champions League (4-0)

Nov. 10: Barcelona vs. Celta Vigo, La Liga (2-1)

                

Lionel Messi

After missing the first four matches of the season with a foot injury and another with an adductor problem, Lionel Messi finally got his first goal of the campaign for Barcelona in their 4-0 win over Sevilla last time out:

The superb free-kick was a milestone in more than one way:

Messi now has two more matches—although it would not be too surprising if he was rested during the Champions League trip to Prague—to fine-tune his game before Real's visit to the Camp Nou.

The Argentinian has netted 26 goals in El Clasico over the years, and he'll be eager to make up for lost time this season, so his performance against Real will be a must-watch.

                

Luis Suarez

Luis Suarez has also had to overcome some fitness problems this seasonhe missed a couple of games with a calf injury early onbut he's enjoying a fine scoring run.

He netted a sensational bicycle kick against Sevilla:

The goal was his fourth in three matches, following a brace against Inter and a strike against Getafe.

The 32-year-old isn't quite the same player he used to be, but his ability to win matches for Barcelona remains undiminished, and he's second only to Messi in that regard.

As Barca look to overtake Real in the coming weeks, his efforts will play an important role in determining how they fare.

               

Antoine Griezmann

Antoine Griezmann joined Barcelona in one of the most high-profile moves of the summer, with the Catalan giants paying €120 million to prise him away from Atletico Madrid.

A brace and an assist in a 5-2 win over Real Betis—for which Messi and Suarez were absent—in his second game was a promising start, but he's only scored one goal in his seven appearances since.

He was an unused substitute against Sevilla, as football writer Jeremy Smith observed:

The Frenchman will likely make a swift return to action against Eibar with Ousmane Dembele suspended after being sent off against Sevilla.

With Messi back in the side, Griezmann needs to use this run of games to develop chemistry with him and Suarez, because the success of his Barcelona career could well hinge on his ability to operate effectively alongside the pair.

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