5 Bold Predictions for Luis Suarez's Debut Season with Barcelona
Despite not being able to join the party until the end of August, the quirks of the La Liga calendar mean that his first performance in Blaugrana is likely to be away at Real Madrid.
A real baptism of fire if ever there was one.
Never a dull moment when the Uruguayan is around, we can be assured of more of the same during 2014-15.
Let's take a look at five bold predictions for Suarez's opening campaign.
Sent off on Debut
The first "El Clasico" of the season is always hotly anticipated.
Once the fixtures were released, fate would decree that Real Madrid v Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu would fall just one day after Luis Suarez finishes his ban for biting Giorgio Chiellini during the 2014 World Cup.
The entire football world will be waiting with bated breath to see just what an impact Suarez will have on proceedings, but his exuberance will get the better of him.
A mistimed tackle rather than a malicious one will see him red-carded on his return to football, prompting headline writers everywhere to have a field day at the Uruguayan's expense.
After a first-game misdemeanour, and with the eyes of the world on his every move, Suarez has to be on his best behaviour for the rest of the season.
The pressure on him to remain so will be extraordinary, especially given that we can be fairly sure that opponents will target him and try to ignite that notoriously short fuse.
Knowing that this is the "last-chance saloon" as far as his professional career goes should ensure that Suarez maintains a focused and calm exterior.
Top Scorer in La Liga
By the end of the 2013-14 season, Suarez was level with Cristiano Ronaldo on 31 goals. That was despite missing the start of the season because of his previous ban for biting.
The slower and more technical nature of the Spanish league is likely to be manna from heaven for someone with the Uruguayan's nous and intelligence on a football pitch.
With Lionel Messi supplying the inch-perfect passes, expect Suarez to be on the scoresheet more often than not.
Falling out with Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi is the undisputed king of Camp Nou.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic found that out to his cost, as did David Villa. In Suarez, Barca will have another high-class centre-forward willing to grab the headlines from the Argentine.
However, Suarez's former coach Martin Lasarte told Sport via Martin Macdonald of Goal.com:
Luis Suarez will not be the servant of Messi. I see Luis contributing collectively, but not as a servant to others.
It's tremendous! In this attack there is talent, scoring power, personality and winning character.
And a clash of personalities that could well derail the ambitions of manager Luis Enrique.
Will Become One of the Club Captains
Luis Suarez's rehabilitation and reputation will be restored once Barca offer him one of the club captaincies.
Wearing the armband affords a certain responsibility, and it is one that Suarez will surely take seriously.
Would Luis be ready for the captaincy? One hundred and fifty per cent. Absolutely.
We shall see who will be captain. Daniel Agger is fit. He didn’t train at the start of the week because he was ill, but he has been training now and he’s available for selection.
You’ll just have to wait and see what my decision is at White Hart Lane.
It's likely that Luis Enrique will also see those leadership qualities and give him a swift chance at redemption.
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