In Talking Barça Podcast 4, we look back at Barça and Messi's so-called 'mini-crisis' that finished on Saturday with the 5-0 victory against Mallorca with a hatrick from Messi included. We expect a comfortable victory against Viktoria Plzen on Tuesday and look forward to a tough match against Athletic Club in Bilbao next weekend.
FC Barcelona v RCD Mallorca
A convincing 5-0 victory over Mallorca with a hatrick from Messi proved that Barça's so-called crisis and Messi's reputed poor form was just hot air coming from the Madrid Press.
The truth is that FC Barcelona dropped 2 points against a defensively strong Sevilla Fc and despite putting in a poor performance against Granada in Los Cármenes, came away with three points in the bag and were never seriously ruffled by the Andalusians.
Poor old Lionel Messi went a whole three games without scoring and committed the heinous crime of missing a penalty.
Both of us would also like to see Messi in the middle of the attack rather than struggling out to the right, and are adamant that Srgio Busquets should be in the starting line-up for every game.
Viktoria Plzen v FC Barcelona
Given the tactical variations used by Guardiola this season, predicting the starting line-up against Viktoria Plzen is something of a guessing game.
Nic favours a back four made up of Alves, Piqué, Puyol, Abidal with Xavi, Busquets, Fabregas in midfield and Villa, Messi, Iniesta in attack.
Simon is going for a 3-4-3 of Abidal, Mascherano and Alves at the back, Busquets, Iniesta, Fàbregas and Xavi in midfield with Cuenca, Messi and Villa up front.
The only thing that either of us is sure about is that Valdes will be in nets and we'll win by a convincing margin of 3 or 4 goals.
Athletic Club v FC Barcelona
For both of us, next Sunday's game against Athletic Club is definitely a big one, and we expect guaranteed entertainment.
Historically, Athletic Club de Bilbao are, along with Barça and Madrid, one of La Liga's Big Three. They've never been relegated to the Second Division and only field Basque players - impressive in this modern age of petrodollars and footballing mercenaries!
With Iraizoz in goals, Javi Martínez in midfield and Muniain and Llorente up front and a lot of players who've come up through the famous Basque Cantera, Athletic Club are always a force to be reckoned with.
We'd like to think that Barça will come away from San Mamés with the three points but aren't prepared to make any predictions.
Don't miss the next Talking Barça Podcast, when we will be reviewing Barça's game against Athletic Club and discussing the role of FC Barcelona players with Spain and the other national sides.