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Barcelona injury update before Real Sociedad: Pedri, Frenkie de Jong, Sergi Roberto…

Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha returned from injuries in El Clásico. Xavi Hernández should have another new face in his squad in San Sebastián.

Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha returned from injuries in El Clásico. Xavi Hernández should have another new face in his squad in San Sebastián.

Much has been made of Barcelona’s injury issues in recent weeks, with no fewer than six first-team regulars in the treatment room at one point in October. Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha made their returns as substitutes in El Clásico against Real Madrid on Saturday, while Jules Koundé was also on the bench but ultimately didn’t feature. There was, however, no sign of Pedri, Frenkie de Jong or Sergi Roberto.

Lewandowski return backfires in El Clásico

Whether head coach Xavi Hernández was right to rush players back for one of the biggest games of the season after several weeks out of action is very much up for debate. Barça were a goal to the good against Los Blancos when Lewandowski replaced Ferran Torres just after the hour mark and went on to lose, with the introduction of the Pole not having the desire impact as Carlo Ancelotti’s side wrestled their way back into the contest. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

Frenkie de Jong and Sergi Roberto still unavailable

Could that be on Xavi’s mind when it comes to this coming Saturday’s fixture away to Real Sociedad? That looks to be the case as far as Frenkie de Jong is concerned. The Dutchman was initially given an outside chance of being involved in some capacity against Madrid but wasn’t risked in the end, and his return from an ankle injury isn’t expected to take place in San Sebastián either. The focus for de Jong will now turn to Barcelona’s next match, away to Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League on Tuesday 7 November.

Club captain Sergi Roberto, who is suffering from a calf issue, is the other confirmed absentee for the Real Sociedad clash.

Pedri likely to return against La Real

There is, however, some good news for Xavi ahead of the trip to the Basque Country. Like de Jong, it had been hoped fellow midfielder Pedri would be available to face Real Madrid, which didn’t materialise. The 20-year-old hasn’t played since 20 August because of a thigh injury, missing Barça’s last 12 games.

But he has taken part in full training with the rest of his teammates for the last two days and should be available for selection for Saturday’s game unless he suffers a setback.

Barça off the pace in LaLiga

Barcelona’s defeat to Madrid was their first of the season and saw them slip four points behind their Clásico rivals and Girona at the top of LaLiga. Real Sociedad were one of Spain’s strongest teams last year, qualifying for the Champions League, and are currently one place behind Xavi’s side in fifth, albeit five points worse off.