Barcelona’s season has taken another hit as their injury list has grown to eight, leaving them with a threadbare squad of just 11 senior players, including two goalkeepers. Captain Sergi Roberto is the latest to succumb to injury, and it couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Catalans.
Sergi Roberto’s Setback
Sergi Roberto, the club’s stalwart, has suffered a muscle strain in his calf during a recent training session. Initial reports suggest it’s a relatively mild injury, with an estimated recovery time of 7-10 days. Unfortunately, this rules him out of the upcoming clash with Athletic Club, but there’s hope for his return against Shakhtar Donetsk or Real Madrid in the following week.
Mounting Injury Concerns
As the injury list lengthens, Barcelona faces a growing crisis. Pedri, Frenkie de Jong, Robert Lewandowski, Jules Kounde, Raphinha, Alejandro Balde, and Lamine Yamal have all been grappling with injuries. Though the latter two returned to training recently and are poised to be available for the Athletic Club match, the others, like Pedri and Raphinha, are on the verge of a comeback.
Limited Senior Squad
With just 11 senior players, including backup goalkeeper Inaki Pena, at their disposal, Barcelona’s room for rotation has dwindled, and Xavi Hernandez faces a selection headache. The situation becomes more daunting with the El Clasico showdown against Real Madrid a mere 10 days away.
Sergi Roberto’s Prolonged Absence
Barcelona’s announcement of Sergi Roberto’s calf strain during training initially suggested a shorter recovery time of 7-10 days. This had placed him in contention for the matches against Shakhtar Donetsk and Real Madrid, but recent reports indicate that he could be sidelined for two to three weeks.
Roberto’s absence, though not a regular starter, is a significant setback for Coach Xavi Hernandez. His versatility and experience provide valuable squad depth. This would have allowed resting key players like Joao Cancelo ahead of the crucial Real Madrid clash.
Sergi Roberto’s injury exacerbates Barcelona’s woes in midfield. With Pedri’s return still uncertain, and Frenkie de Jong already on the injury list, options are thin. The midfield roster now includes Oriol Romeu, Ilkay Gundogan, Fermin Lopez, and Gavi. However the latter also serving a ban for the Shakhtar match. It’s a challenging scenario for Xavi, as he navigates this intricate period in the season.
Barcelona’s depth will undoubtedly be tested in the coming weeks, making their upcoming fixtures all the more critical in their pursuit of La Liga glory.