• Football

Suarez set for Barcelona debut

ESPN staff
August 18, 2014
SAS alive and well without Suarez?

Barcelona coach Luis Enrique has confirmed striker Luis Suarez will make his debut in Monday night's friendly against Mexican side Leon.

Suarez, who moved from Liverpool to Barcelona for £75 million in July, had been forced to train away from his new team-mates due to the four-month ban incurred for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup when playing for Uruguay.

However, he now has two group sessions under his belt after the Court of Arbitration for Sport relaxed the "excessive" elements of the suspension, and Luis Enrique plans to hand the 27-year-old some game time on Monday.

"The impression is that he is a player of a very high standard," Enrique said. "I know how we play and he fits how we play. I would like to give him some minutes [on Monday]. He did a great job when he trained alone."

Suarez failed in his appeal to have the entire suspension - covering "all football-related activity" - removed, but was permitted to train and play in friendlies for club and country after the CAS ruled the punishment was overly harsh.

However, he will have to wait until the weekend of October 25 to make his competitive debut - the weekend of the first Clasico of the 2014-15 Primera Division - campaign against arch rivals Real Madrid at the Bernabeu.

Suarez will be presented in front of Barca fans at the Nou Camp before Monday's match, which could see him form a formidable front line alongside Lionel Messi and Neymar.

Brazil forward Neymar has been given medical clearance to play after breaking a vertebra during the World Cup last month. Barca begin their league season at home to Elche next Sunday.

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