Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez has not ruled out some of his injured players from recovering in time to face Real Madrid on Saturday.
The Blaugrana currently have six players out injured, and Xavi more or less ruled out Jules Kounde and Sergi Roberto from contention on Saturday.
On Monday it emerged that Pedri would not be risked for El Clasico, despite the fact many believed he would be back for their weekend clash with Athletic Club on Sunday evening. Xavi was asked about his progress ahead of their Champions League tie with Shakhtar Donetsk.
“The sensations are what they are. We’re trying to avoid a relapse. It would be difficult, also on a mental level. He is within the time frames that we thought were appropriate from day one.”
The Marc Guiu podcast https://t.co/KyhhSZRh7e
— Siempre Positivo (@SiemprePod) October 23, 2023
Frenkie de Jong, Raphinha and Robert Lewandowski are also recovering from an array of problems. Despite Toni Juanmarti revealing on the Siempre Positivo pod that none of them would make the match, Xavi chose to maintain his optimism. None of those four are in the squad to face Shakhtar on Wednesday.
“The injured players are not one hundred percent and that is why they are not there. The feelings will tell dictate what happens. I remain optimistic and some of them can make it to Saturday. But they will do so depending on their feelings.”
Barcelona will only have 13 first-team players available to face Real Madrid on Saturday if none of them do make it, two of which are goalkeepers. Albeit, Lamine Yamal and Fermin Lopez have been with the first team for a while. No doubt Xavi will be desperate for some of them to be fit though, with so few resources.