Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi is expected to start for Barcelona against Sporting GijonReuters

Barcelona cannot afford to slip up when they host Sporting Gijon at Camp Nou on 23 April.

Where to watch live

Kick-off is set for 7.30pm BST. The game will be broadcast live on Sky Sports 1 HD.

Overview

Luis Suarez scored four goals and set up another three as Barcelona returned to winning ways in an 8-0 demolition of Deportivo La Coruna on 20 April. The Catalan giants have won 11 of their last 12 league encounters against Sporting Gijon.

Lionel Messi missed training on 21 April with an ankle knock, but is expected to start against Sporting Gijon. Centre-back Thomas Vermaelen (calf) could also return.

Meanwhile, Sporting Gijon came from behind to beat Sevilla 2-1 at home in the midweek, boosting their chances of escaping relegation this season. The Asturias outfit are one point behind 17th-placed Granada, who are in action at Celta Vigo on 25 April.

Roberto Canella, Alex Barrera, Alex Menendez and Bernardo Espinosa are all sidelined through injury for the visitors, but Omar Mascarell will return from a one-match ban.

What managers say

Luis Enrique: "This is a good result [against Deportivo La Coruna] and a victory which was key for us. We played well, won the game, and did not concede. But the team who is best over 38 games wins the league, not 37, 35 or 31. There are still four games to play and it will be difficult. I don't know if this means our poor run is over. We are leaving with a spectacular result and a very nice challenge in front of us."

Abelardo Fernandez: "Victory [against Sevilla] is important for the table and for the influence on morale. But there are four games that will be agonising. The win allows us to stay in the fight but on Saturday there is a very tough game against Barca, but then we have two at home and another away against a team fighting for the same as us. If we had seven or eight games we could stay up."

Form guide

  • Barcelona (all competitions): W L L L W
  • Last result: Deportivo La Coruna 0-8 Barcelona
  • Sporting Gijon: W D L D W
  • Last result: Sporting Gijon 2-1 Sevilla

Betting odds (Betfair)

  • Barcelona win: 1/33
  • Draw: 20
  • Sporting Gijon win: 28

Team news

Barcelona possible XI: Bravo; Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Iniesta; Messi, Suarez, Neymar.

Sporting Gijon possible XI: Cuellar; Lora, Hernandez, Mere, Lopez; Alvarez, Cases; Carmona, Ait-Atmane, Jony; Sanabria.