Ernesto Valverde will be ruing the international break with his side unbeaten in LaLiga and facing the first leg of a Champions League quarter-final against Roma a few days after a potentially tricky trip to the Sánchez Pizjuán this weekend.
Even before the Fifa fixtures Valverde assumed he would have to manage Luis Suárez and Ivan Rakitic carefully after they travelled a total of 37,000 kilometres between them representing Uruguay and Croatia and the Barça boss also has a few injury concerns before travelling south to face Sevilla on Saturday.
Leo Messi sat out both of Argentina’s friendlies against Italy and Spain with an adductor muscle problem and first-choice keeper Marc-André Ter Stegen returned to Barcelona with a knee injury after missing Germany’s friendly against Brazil. Andrés Iniesta has just come back from a hamstring injury but came through 45 minutes against Germany and 56 against Argentina while Gerard Piqué has a persistent niggle in his right knee.
Busquets unlikely to feature in Sevilla
Meanwhile, Sergio Busquets is expected to return to training on Wednesday after recovering from a fractured metatarsal but will not start in Sevilla, if he travels at all. Valverde may decide to rest him entirely with Roma in mind or give him a few minutes in the Sánchez Pizjuán to test his foot.
In good news for the Barça boss, Nelson Semedo and Denis Suárez are available again after injury and will be in the squad for Sevilla on Saturday. With the first leg against Roma on April 4, four days later, a much-changed Barça side could be sent out to try and maintain the only remaining unbeaten run across Europe’s top five domestic leagues this season.