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EL CLÁSICO

Barcelona final injury situation ahead of El Clásico in LaLiga

Xavi has a mix of good and bad news on the injury front ahead of the LaLiga clash with Real Madrid today, Saturday 28 October.

Update:
Robert Lewandowski ahead of the Clásico vs Real Madrid
PAU BARRENAAFP

Barcelona take on Real Madrid in LaLiga on Saturday 28 October at 10:15 ET, in what is the latest edition of Spain’s biggest game: El Clásico. For the tie, Xavi has had to change his ideal squad plan as various first-team players are injured.

With Barcelona now having released their official matchday roster we now know who is definitively in and who is definitely out, though some doubts remain over exactly how fit some of the players coming back from injury are.

The Barcelona starting XI is: Ter Stegen, Cancelo, Balde, Araujo, Martínez, Gavi, Ferran, João Félix, Christensen, Gündogan, Fermín.

Injuries and recoveries for Barcelona

We already knew from a couple of days back that Pedri and Sergi Roberto were 100% ruled out of playing the game at Montjuïc. However back then it looked like Jules Koundé also wouldn’t make it, having suffered a knee ligament strain against Granada, but he’s recovered and is in the squad, though he doesn’t start.

Frenkie de Jong is however out. He picked up an ankle injury in the home victory over Celta Vigo back at the end of September and hasn’t recovered in time to face Ancelotti’s men.

- We also take a look at Real Madrid’s injury news -

Raphinha fit for El Clásico

The player who was always looking most likely to be back in contention for the squad list was Raphinha, and indeed Barça’s Brazilian winger has made it into the matchday roster, though isn’t in the starting XI. The forward took part in group training at the end of the week and even played in a small-sided game, coming out of the session feeling good. The player injured his hamstring at the end of September and was initially ruled out for a period of 4 weeks, meaning he’s hit his recovery schedule perfectly.

Lewandowski available for Xavi

Robert Lewandowski was doubtful with an ankle injury right up to the time Barcelona published the roster but the striker is in. He took part in some of the group training at the end of the week, joining in with the warmup and the rondos (small possession game) but then returned inside to continue his recovery with the physiotherapists and club doctors, leading fans to worry about his inclusion. What’s not clear is if he’s fully fit - he’s only had one day of training and AS understands that he may require painkillers to play. He starts on the bench.

Raphinha injured himself against Sevilla in LaLiga.
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Raphinha injured himself against Sevilla in LaLiga.PAU BARRENAAFP

João Félix fit as expected

João Félix has recovered from the knock he suffered in the win over Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League. Xavi was optimistic in the post-game, saying “it looks like he took a knock, that’s what he told me. There is no need to worry. We hope it’s not serious, he can be back in time.” The Portuguese star starts against Real Madrid.

Gavi is also back and starts after he completed his suspension against the Ukrainian side.