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EL CLÁSICO

Barcelona injury update ahead of El Clásico in LaLiga

Xavi has welcomed back a key first team player to the squad ahead of the LaLiga clash with Real Madrid on Saturday.

Update:
Xavi has welcomed back a key first team player to the squad ahead of the LaLiga clash with Real Madrid on Saturday.
PAU BARRENAAFP

Barcelona take on Real Madrid in LaLiga on Saturday 28 October, 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. However, with just a few days to go, the manager has received good news regarding one or more of them.

As of now, the players who are 100% ruled out of playing the game at Montjuïc are Pedri, Jules Koundé and Sergi Roberto, who will not be fit in time. However, the bad news almost stops there, as there is hope regarding a number of previously injured players, whose recovery schedules will be confirmed in the next hours.

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

Raphinha looks likely for El Clásico

The player who looks most likely to be back in contention for the squad list is Raphinha, Barça’s Brazilian winger. The forward took part in group training and even played in a small-sided game, coming out of the session feeling good. The player, it must be remembered, injured his hamstring at the end of September and was initially ruled out for a period of 4 weeks, meaning he is on schedule in terms of his recovery.

However, on the other side of the coin sit Robert Lewandowski and Frenkie de Jong, whose return for El Clásico is up in the air. Both players took part in some of the group training, joining in with the warmup and the rondos (small possession game) but then they returned inside to continue their recoveries with the physiotherapists and club doctors.

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

Will Robert Lewandowski play against Real Madrid?

Everything points to the players just about making it for El Clásico, but certainly not match fit, as they would have, in the best of cases, only had one day of training. However, AS understand that from within the dressing room it is “not ruled out” that they make it.

In terms of how the two compare, it is Robert Lewandowski who looks the likelier to return in time for Saturday’s game, even if he only makes the bench. His injury is in his ankle and, if needed, painkillers could be used on the player. As for the Dutchman, things look unlikely and the doctors are expected to be more cautious with his recovery.

Sweat can be wiped from the brows of everyone in eastern Spain as it looks as though João Félix has recovered already 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.”

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