Good afternoon! Barcelona
will be hoping to extend their lead at the top of the La Liga table today as they host Deportivo la Coruna
in the Spanish top flight. It won't be an easy match for the home side though, as the visitors head to Camp Nou in impressive form.
This will be the Spanish and European champions' last match in the league before they fly out to Japan to represent Europe at the World Club Cup. We're still waiting for the team news, but we know that Neymar won't be involved this afternoon, as the Brazilian was injured in training earlier this week.
Ahead of this match, Barcelona coach Luis Enrique
told reporters: "The fans need to show support in difficult times to give is security, and I am sure that this will help us get the three points to get to the Club World Cup in top condition."
Meanwhile, Deportivo's Victor Sanchez said at his pre-match press conference: "Memories and statistics won't be any use to us in this type of game. I expect the best from our rivals, regardless of the starting XI."
Right then, the teams have just been announced, so let's take a look at the lineups...
BARCELONA STARTING XI: Bravo, Pique, Rakitic, Busquets, Alves, Iniesta, Suarez, Messi, Mascherano, Alba, Sandro
DEPORTIVO STARTING XI:
Lux, Arribas, Laure
, Sidnei, Navarro, Fajr, Bergantinos, Juanfran
, Luisinho, Lucas
BARCELONA SUBSTITUTES: Ter Stegen, Bartra, Munir, Roberto, Adriano, Vermaelen, Mathieu
DEPORTIVO SUBSTITUTES: Fernandez, Cani, Medunjanin, Dominguez, Alberto, Cardoso
For the home side, there's just one change to the side that shared a 1-1 draw with Valencia last weekend, with Neymar missing out with a groin injury, making space for Sandro Ramirez, who impressed during Messi's recent injury absence, to return to the starting lineup.
Meanwhile, there are three changes for Deportivo, as Laure
, Faycal Fajr
and Jonathan Rodriguez, who all came off the bench in the 1-1 draw with Sevilla last weekend, as recalled. Pedro Mosquera is suspended, while Cani drops to the bench, and Oriol Riera misses out after picking up a knock last time out.
Here's Dani Alves and Luis Suarez
arriving at Camp Nou ahead of kickoff:
Deportivo come into this match with just one defeat in their last 10 outings. Today's visitors have held the likes of Atletico Madrid and Sevilla to draws in recent weeks, leaving them in the European places, 12 points off the top of the table.
While Deportivo have not played since last weekend, Barcelona were in action in the Champions League this week, sharing a 1-1 draw with Bayer Leverkusen in their final fixture in the group stage of the competition. The reigning European champions were already guaranteed top spot in their group going into the match though, so put out a much-changed team for the match in Germany.
Here are the visitors getting acquainted with their surroundings:
Deportivo haven't had much luck against Barcelona in recent season. They haven't beaten the current champions since 2008, which is their only win in their last 19 matches against the Catalan side. The managed to force a draw at Camp Nou last season though, with Lucas Perez and Diogo Salomao cancelling out a Lionel Messi
A win for Deportivo this afternoon would leave the visitors fourth in the table, moving ahead of Celta Vigo. Barcelona can increase their lead at the top of the table to five points, although Atletico, who sit second, can close the gap again tomorrow.
With Barcelona missing top scorer Neymar today, Luis Suarez
could be the main goal threat, with the Uruguay international having scored in his last seven La Liga matches. Lionel Messi is still getting back to full fitness after returning from a knee injury a couple of weeks ago, but the Argentine was on the scoresheet in a win over Real Sociedad last month.
The home side have been out for their warmup. Suarez and Messi appear to be deep in conversation while making their way out of the tunnel:
With the form of Neymar and Suarez so far this season, Barcelona are the top scorers in La Liga, having found the back of the net 34 times. Deportivo have been pretty strong going forward too though, with 21 goals making them the joint-fourth highest scorers in the division.
Defensively, there isn't that much to separate these two sides from their first 14 matches of the season, with Barcelona having conceded just one goal fewer than today's opponents. However, Luis Enrique
's side have kept seven clean sheets so far, three more than Deportivo.
PREDICTION! The players will be making their way out shortly, so there's just time for a prediction. Deportivo's form is recent weeks has been impressive, so Barcelona won't be taking the visitors lightly, but it's a strong team for the home side, who won't want to head to the Club World Cup off the back of anything other than a win, so I'm going for a 3-1 win for Barcelona this afternoon.
The teams are making their way out of the tunnel ready for kickoff. It's a bright, sunny day in Barcelona and the Camp Nou is absolutely packed with kickoff just a few minutes away.
KICKOFF! The home side get the match underway.
The hosts test Deportivo's defenders with an early run into the box, with Iniesta playing the ball through to Suarez, but the visitors do just enough to stop the striker getting an early shot away. Barcelona had far too much space in the middle though. It doesn't take the champions long to get forward again, with Iniesta chipping the ball in for Suarez again, and this time the striker controls the ball before attempting to cut it back for Messi, but German Lux claims it for Deportivo.
Deportivo win a free kick as Rakitic goes in late on Luisinho, leaving the midfielder clutching his leg in pain, although he's quickly back on his feet. A long ball is played forward to Lucas, who was on the scoresheet last weekend, but the winger drifts offside as the ball is played.
CHANCE! Barcelona have made a really bright start this afternoon, and Suarez comes within a couple of inches of opening the scoring as Ramirez plays the ball through to the striker on the edge of the six-yard box, but he somehow manages to fire wide. Given Suarez's recent form, he really should be hitting the target from there.
Iniesta is busy as ever in midfield for the home side, as puts a long ball in towards Suarez, but Lux comes off his line to claim. Messi soon wins it back and tries to weave his way through a crowded Deportivo box, but the visitors manage to scramble it behind for a corner.
Deportivo haven't had much possession so far, but Luisinho tries to create something through the middle for the visiting side, picking out the run of Lucas, but his first touch is poor, allowing Barcelona to quickly break back down the other end.
Iniesta has been working hard to try to set Suarez and Messi up in the opening 10 minutes of the match, but the roles are reverse as Messi makes a run down the right before curling the ball in for the midfielder, but he's a fraction late with his run into the box, and can't quite stretch his leg out enough to glance it into the back of the net.
CHANCE! The home side have a free kick in a dangerous position, with Messi standing over the ball 25 yards out. The Argentine curls it up and over the wall, and it looks like it's going into the top right corner, but Lux watches it all the way to make a stretching save. It's a good effort from Messi, but an excellent stop from the Deportivo keeper.
The visitors manage to get the ball back down the other end, with Juanfran
crossing the ball in fro the left, earning Deportivo their first corner of the match. Lucas fires it back into the box, but it's cleared with ease by Barcelona.
Having survived a dominant display from Barcelona in the opening 15 minutes, Deportivo are starting to find their feet in this match, with Lucas making another pacy run towards the home side's penalty area, only to lose possession, before Laure makes a brilliant tackle down the other end to halt Messi in his tracks.
Busquets threads the ball through to Suarez on the edge of the box, but the forward takes a tumble under pressure from Arribas and Juanfran while trying to turn towards the goal. Alves soon gets it back for the hosts, crossing the ball in from the right flank for Suarez, but his header is wide. Barcelona have certainly had the better of the chances, but they haven't tested Lux as often as they would have hoped to so far.
Alves comes out from the back again, forcing a corner for the league leaders. The initial delivery is quickly cleared, but Rakitic is able to gather the loose ball in midfield, curling it back in for Sandro Ramirez at the far post, but his finish is wide of the mark.
The home side are seeing all of the possession at the moment, but a rare miss-cue from Messi sees the ball go well high, before Alves is brought down on the edge of the box while trying to put a cross in, and Suarez heads the ball straight at Lux moments later. There could be a problem for Deportivo's Jonathan Rodriguez though, as he managed to run into Alves's elbow, leaving himself with a bloodied nose.
CHANCE! Lux has to be alert as Messi picks up the ball just outside the box. The striker hasn't got many options ahead of him, so tries to pick out the top corner with a swerving finish, but the keeper is able to tip it behind. Alves crosses it back into the box, but Suarez gets his header all wrong, sending it well high of the crossbar, letting out a shout of disappointment as he gets the header away.
Alves has been getting forward more often in the last 10 minutes, mainly trying to put crosses in from the right, but he's always keen to try his luck from 20 yards, and gets a shot away, but Navarro deflects it to safety for the visitors.
Alves passes the ball inside to Rakitic on the edge of the box, and the midfielder tries to pass it back out wide to the defender, but he's not expecting it, letting the ball go straight out for a goal kick. Barcelona are just starting to look a bit frustrated. They've absolutely dominated this first half, but have nothing to show for it.
GOAL! Barcelona 1-0 Deportivo la Coruna (Lionel Messi)
What a strike from Lionel Messi! The home side get a free kick just outside the penalty area as Luisinho brings Messi down. The striker has already come close from a similar range earlier in the match, but this time he puts a bit more power behind it, lifting it up and over the wall before it dips perfectly into the top right corner, beating the stretching Lux.
BOOKING! Luisinho is the first player to pick up a yellow card this afternoon as he drags down Pique in midfield.
Barcelona are moving the ball around with ease as they search for a second before half time. Rakitic manages to pick out Suarez, but the Uruguayan's half-volley is narrowly wide.
Iniesta has been superb so far this afternoon, and he's on the move away, bringing the ball down the right wing before cutting inside and attempting to drive the ball in from the edge of the box, but his low finish bobbles away from the target.
HALF TIME: Barcelona 1-0 Deportivo la Coruna
So, Lionel Messi's free kick separates the two sides in a first half that was dominated by the league leaders. There's been very little action in the Barcelona penalty area, with Deportivo struggling to keep hold of the ball, but with just a goal in it, they'll be confident that they can still rescue something from this match.
In the opening 45 minutes, Barcelona had 71% of the possession at Camp Nou, creating 10 shots, four of which were on target. Deportivo had just two attempts, only one which required action from Claudio Bravo
Here are a few pictures from the first half courtesy of Deportivo's Twitter feed:
The players are starting to head back out ready for the start of the second half at Camp Nou.
RESTART! The visitors get the action back underway.
CHANCE! The visitors made a change at half time, with Juan Dominguez replacing Luisinho. He almost has an immediate impact, laying the ball off to Lucas, who charges through the middle before squaring the ball back to the substitute on the edge of the box, but his finish is straight into the hands of Bravo.
Deportivo have made a really bright start to the second half, forcing their second corner of the match as Fajr attempts to get a shot away. Bravo is ready for the delivery though, coming off his line to claim it for Barcelona.
CHANCE! After watching the visitors come close to equalising, Barcelona try to add a second down the other end, with Suarez taking the ball into the box, before pulling it back to Iniesta. He takes a couple of touches, leaving himself with an impossible angle, although his slice isn't that far away. If the home side had had someone in the six-yard box, that could have been a dangerous ball for Deportivo to deal with.
CHANCE! Suarez charges down the right before cutting the ball back to Sandro Ramirez, who Deportivo appear to have forgotten to mark. Jonathan Rodriguez quickly closes the midfielder down though, forcing him to scuff his shot wide.
DISALLOWED GOAL! Suarez thinks he's doubled the home side's lead as he meets a through ball in the middle of the penalty area, taking a touch before coolly slotting the ball into the bottom left corner, but he immediately sees that the assistant has his flag up. Looking at the replays, it does look like he was a little too keen to meet the delivery.
Jordi Alba has been fairly quiet so far this afternoon, but he gets forward down the left before floating the ball into the box, but there's no-one there to meet it, leaving Deportivo with an easy clearance.
SUB! Jonathan Rodriguez appears to be struggling, having clearly picked up a knock, so be makes way for Luis Alberto.
CHANCE! Suarez wins a corner, which Rakitic takes short to Messi, who beats a couple of defenders before attempting to blast the ball home, but it's high of the target.
GOAL! Barcelona 2-0 Deportivo la Coruna (Ivan Rakitic)
makes it look so easy as he carves out some space 20 yards out before drilling it through a crowded penalty area and inside the left post. It's an excellent finish from the midfielder.
The home side are in complete control as they charge forward again, before Messi crosses the ball in from the right-hand side of the box. Sandro is the nearest man to it, but he's slow to arrive, leaving the visitors to make the clearance.
Deportivo could easily have let their heads drop after letting in the second, but Alberto tries to give the visiting side some hope with a run down the right before looking to get a cross in, but he's short of options in the middle, allowing the home side to win the ball back.
SUB! Barcelona make their first change, with Sandro Ramirez making way for Munir El Haddadi.
CHANCE! Deportivo are desperately trying to get a goal back, but Barcelona get players back quickly every time they have the ball, forcing Dominguez to take the shot on from range, resulting in a wayward finish from the midfielder.
CHANCE! Despite seemingly having his shirt pulled, Messi surges away from the midfield before slipping the ball into the box for Luis Suarez, but it doesn't look like it's the Uruguayan's day, as he can only scuff the ball straight to the keeper.
BOOKING! Laure clatters into Iniesta from behind, earning himself a yellow card, which means he'll be suspended next weekend.
SUB! Barcelona make another change, as Sergi Roberto comes on for Ivan Rakitic.
DISALLOWED GOAL! Suarez had one chalked off for an offside for Barcelona earlier in the second half, and now Deportivo find themselves in the same position as Lucas drifts offside as Dominguez unleashes a shot from the edge of the box. The midfielder's finish comes back of the crossbar, with Lucas pouncing on the rebound, but his earlier offside means it won't count.
GOAL! Barcelona 2-1 Deportivo la Coruna (Lucas)
Barcelona got a second chance after being carved open at the back by Lucas a couple of moments ago, but they leave the midfielder wide open again, and this time he times his run to perfection, collecting a through- ball from Miguel Cardosa on the right before cutting inside and chipping the ball past Bravo. The visitors have got themselves right back in this match.
Barcelona are living dangerously as Laure gets forward, tearing down the right before slicing the ball back into the box, but it's too far back for Lucas, allowing Roberto to make the clearance for Barca. The hosts immediately try to counter, with Messi playing it forward for Suarez, but the striker just hasn't got his finishing boots on today, scuffing it wide.
CHANCE! Barcelona come close to restoring their two-goal cushion as Munir meets a long ball forward, in the box, but his effort from close range is straight at Lux.
There's an injury concern for Barcelona as Iniesta tangles with Cardosa, resulting in the Deportivo man stepping on the midfielder's foot. The home side have already made their three changes, so they'll be hoping Iniesta can shake this off.
The visitors haven't given up hope of rescuing a point from this match as Lucas shows his pace with a run down the right before squaring it to Faycal Fajr
, but the midfielder's shot was always rising. It's worth remembering, Deportivo came from two goals down to draw at the Camp Nou last season.
GOAL! Barcelona 2-2 Deportivo la Coruna (Alex Bergantinos)
Barcelona have thrown the lead away with some lazy defending since taking a 2-0 lead. Sergio Busquets gives the ball away in Barcelona's half of the pitch, allowing Lucas to slide the ball in for Alex Berganitos, who produces a fantastic finish to get the better of Bravo, driving the ball inside the left post.
Barcelona have to switch back on in attack as they look for a late winner. Iniesta loops the ball over the top towards Messi, but the Argentina can't reach it in time, leaving it to go out for a goal kick.
CHANCE! As the match heads into four minutes of stoppage time, Busquets loses the ball again, leaving Cardosa to run from inside his own half to the edge of the Barcelona box. He hesitates with the finish though, taking it a step or two too far before curling the ball into the side-netting.
Barcelona are getting numbers forward as they look for the winner, but they just can't get a shot away, with Deportivo defending desperately.
FULL TIME: Barcelona 2-2 Deportivo la Coruna
Well, what a comeback from Deportivo la Coruna! The home side appeared to be cruising when Ivan Rakitic doubled their lead midway through the second half, but the champions switched off in the final 15 minutes. It's definitely a case of two points dropped rather than one gained for Luis Enrique's men.
The result doesn't affect the table, with Barcelona staying top, while Deportivo sit sixth, just a point behind fifth-placed Villarreal. Atletico Madrid can go level on points with the league leaders tomorrow, but Barca's goal difference should be enough to keep them top as they head to the Club World Cup.
So, that's all from this match, but you can catch up with all the latest news and results from the Spanish top flight on our La Liga page
. Thanks for joining me this afternoon. Goodbye.