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Neymar & Pedro doubtful starters

Barcelona: Neymar and Pedro are fitness doubts for Barcelona who are stretched for cover in attack against Elche on Sunday but coach Luis Enrique is confident they will be ready in time.

With the Brazilian spraining an ankle during training on Thursday and Pedro suffering from a stomach bug it means that only Lionel Messi is a certainty among Luis Enrique’s first choice forwards.

New signing Luis Suarez is also banned until the end of October for biting at the World Cup.

“We will see what Neymar’s situation is tomorrow and whether he can play. Pedro has trained with the team today and so we will also make a decision tomorrow but in principle I am counting on Neymar and him. If they cannot start, we can use them later in the game,” Luis Enrique told a news conference on Saturday at the Camp Nou.

Neymar was only given the all-clear by medical staff at the Camp Nou on Monday after fracturing a vertebra playing for Brazil in the World Cup quarter final against Colombia in early July.

Neymar looked lively in Barca’s final friendly match against Mexican outfit Leon on Monday in which they won 6-0 and he bagged a brace.

Youth product Munir El Haddadi also got two in that game and Luis Enrique said that he had no concerns on calling on him or other members of the squad.

“Those players who are in the list tomorrow will all be prepared to start,” he said. “Munir, Sandro and the rest will all be ready if they are called up. They can help us, I have no doubt.”

The Catalan club has had an overhaul since their first season without a trophy in six years and Luis Enrique, who replaced Gerardo Martino, is happy with the progress the team has made during pre-season.