Neymar set to miss opener

Neymar Junior Barcelona

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Barcelona have confirmed that forward Neymar will not be involved in the opening La Liga game of the season against Elche on Sunday after picking up an ankle injury in training.

Neymar returned to action for the Blaugrana, who are valued at 2.10 to regain the La Liga title, as he netted twice in a 6-0 friendly victory over Mexican outfit Leon on Monday.

The Brazil international had only just recovered from a fractured vertebra, which he sustained in the World Cup quarter-final victory over Colombia.

Doctors had cleared him to return to action and he was expected to line-up along with Lionel Messi and co as they look to get off to a winning start under new boss Luis Enrique.

The Catalan side confirmed on Friday though that he will not now be available for selection, although they did not reveal how long he will be on the treatment table for.

A Barcelona statement read: “Tests have shown a grade one sprain.

“His return to training will depend on how the injury treatment evolves.”

Enrique has strengthened his squad during the summer as he bids to try and claim some silverware after failing to claim a major trophy last season for the first time in six years.

Luis Suarez has been signed from Liverpool although he continues to serve his four-month ban, while defenders Thomas Vermaelen and Jeremy Mathieu have also agreed moves.

They have also added goalkeepers Claudio Bravo and Marc-Andre ter Stegen along with playmaker Ivan Rakitic, who agreed a switch from Sevilla.

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