Iniesta to miss up to 14 games, including El Clásico
The Barça midfielder's ligament damage could see him sit out two months, missing 12 games for Los Culés and two for Spain.
After being carried off on a stretcher following Enzo Pérez's tackle at the beginning of Barcelona's controversial 3-2 win over Valencia on Saturday afternoon, Andres Iniesta could miss up to 14 matches.
A lengthy spell out
The Spanish midfielder suffered knee ligament damage and is set to miss 12 games for Barcelona and two for Spain. The Barça midfielder was told by the club's medical staff that he was facing six to eight weeks out, which means that in LaLiga he will miss the fixtures against Granada, Sevilla, Málaga, Real Sociedad, Real Madrid, Osasuna and Espanyol, in the Copa del Rey the first knockout game against Hércules and the Champions League ties against Manchester City, Monchengladbach and Celtic. Iniesta will also miss two matches for the national side, against Macedonia (World Cup qualifier) and the friendly against England.
There are a number of potential suitors to replace the Spaniard, although none possess quite the same spark or potential to control a game. Luis Enrique will have his work cut out filling and Iniesta-sized hole, but here are the options:
Arda Turan. The Turkey international didn't travel to Valencia because of an elbow injury, but did start the season in fine form. In the centre of the park Turan struggles to control his instincts and can often be found wanting in his defensive duties. That said, he is the most likely candidate to replace Iniesta.
André Gomes. As things stand the Portuguese midfielder is struggling to live up to the 35 million euros Barça paid for him, although it is early days. Nevertheless, he does possess all the attributes to be a worthy replacement - a great physique, technique, vision - but can at times be slow to react and in his distribution.
Rafinha. The Brazilian is normally deployed by Luis Enrique on the right, but does have good defensive balance. His possible link-up play with Neymar could work in his favour.
Denis Suárez. Tactically very disciplined, Suárez sometimes slips under the radar in games, despite leaving a favourable impression in certain areas. The Spaniard is also good on the ball and has improved physically. Could improve his reading of the game.
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