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Rivaldo Exclusive: Dembélé could make instant impact in Catalan Derby

Rivaldo believes Messi and Suarez could be fatigued after their tough World Cup Qualifiers
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Betfair Ambassador Rivaldo looks ahead to Saturday's Catalan Derby and the blockbuster Champions League clash between Barcelona and Juventus next week...

"Ousmane Dembélé could start his first match in the "Blaugrana" shirt and considering his teammates fatigue, he has a real chance to make an instant impact. With Messi and Suarez arriving late and tired back at Camp Nou"

Catalan Derby comes at a good time for visitors


Barcelona face city rivals Espanyol this weekend, with a chance to boost their motivation after a bad start with two losses to Real Madrid. It's true that this is indeed a derby, but Barcelona are much stronger than their opponents on paper and really should be capable of getting the win, especially playing at home.

That being said, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez will arrive tired after two demanding matches for their respective countries in what was a crucial qualifying phase for the World Cup in Russia.

This situation could play in Espanyol's favor as they've had all week to prepare for the fixture, and as such, there's an outside chance they could pick up a point or possibly even an unlikely win but if things go according to the script Barcelona should win easily.

Ousmane Dembélé could start his first match in the Blaugrana shirt and considering his teammates fatigue, he has a real chance to make an instant impact. With Messi and Suarez arriving late and tired back at Camp Nou, Dembélé may step up into the frontline - if Ernesto Valverde decides to include him in the starting eleven.


Demanding start to the Champions League


Barcelona start against last season's nemesis Juventus. The Italians beat Barcelona in the Champions quarter-finals without conceding and now it's payback time - or at least an opportunity to try.

The two teams are clear favorites to qualify in their group as they simply have more quality in their squads, and crucially, more experience and history in the competition than both Olympiacos and Sporting.


Can Messi finally put one past Buffon?


In every match Lionel Messi takes part in he has opportunities to score goals, no matter who the opposition goalkeeper is, and even if he hasn't scored yet against Gigi Buffon, that shouldn't impact his chances on Tuesday night.

The rivalry between them was created by the press, and my previous experience as a player leads me to believe that Messi won't be thinking about that too much, and will certainly put his focus into beating a difficult opponent, instead of trying to desperately score against Buffon.

Juventus defend pretty well, have good players and will certainly create problems at Camp Nou, making this a very interesting match between two excellent teams.

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