How many games will Barcelona’s Araújo and Koundé miss with injury?
Barcelona defenders Ronald Araújo and Jules Koundé are both set to miss several weeks after suffering injuries on international duty in midweek.
Barcelona will be without Ronald Araújo and Jules Koundé for the coming weeks after the defensive pair both returned from international duty with injuries.
Having been forced off in Uruguay’s friendly defeat to Iran on Friday, Araújo on Saturday underwent tests that confirmed the 23-year-old has suffered a serious groin injury. Indeed, AS understands that he faces as long as six to seven weeks on the sidelines, ruling him out of almost all Barça’s remaining games in 2022.
Among the matches Araújo is set to miss are next month’s Clásico against Real Madrid, and the rest of the Blaugrana’s fixtures in this season’s Champions League group stage, which concludes at the start of November.
What Barcelona games is Araújo set to miss?
Better news on Koundé injury
There was slightly more positive news on Koundé, who limped out of France’s UEFA Nations League win over Austria on Thursday. After initial tests conducted by Les Bleus’ medical team, it was feared he could be out for up to five weeks, but having undergone further checks following his return to Catalonia, his expected recovery time has been reduced to between three and four weeks.
Koundé appears certain to miss Barça’s next four games, which include a Champions League double header against Inter Milan, but the former Sevilla player has an outside chance of making it back in time for his team’s matchup with arch rivals Madrid on 16 October.
What Barcelona games is Koundé set to miss?
Barça boss faces selection poser in defence
Araújo and Koundé's absence is a significant blow to Barça head coach Xavi Hernández. The pair had proved a dependable performers on the right side of defence, where Koundé has played at full-back but has tended to alternate his position with Araújo, the right-sided centre-back.
Xavi now has only has three fit central defenders at his dispoal - Eric García, Andreas Christensen and Gerard Piqué - and it’s possible that Marcos Alonso could be drafted into service as the left-sided centre-back if needed. Midfielder Frenkie de Jong is also an option if the hamstring issue he has sustained in the Netherlands’ midweek Nations League win over Poland isn’t serious.
At right-back, Barça’s chief alternatives, Sergi Roberto and Héctor Bellerín, are attack-minded players who offer less defensive solidity than Koundé.