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Barcelona key defender still not 100% ready despite being included in squad list – report

Now mid-way through the season, Barcelona have already forfeited their hopes for two trophies this season, including the Spanish Super Cup — which they lost to Real Madrid in the final, and the Copa del Rey — quarter-final elimination against Athletic Club.

They have lost several key players due to injury during this time, which is a huge reason behind their downfall. Gavi is perhaps the most important of them all, while Marc-Andre ter Stegen’s injury has also been negatively vital.

In the Spanish Super Cup final, too, one player Barcelona severely missed on the pitch was Joao Cancelo. The Portuguese picked up a knee injury against Las Palmas in the league early in June, and has not made his way back on the pitch just yet.

He was, however, included in the travelling list for the Athletic Club game yesterday night as Barcelona lost 4-2, but never made his way on to the pitch, which left fans confused.

There is an update now on his situation, though, as Toni Juanmarti has reported that Cancelo is not 100% fit just yet. And as such, Xavi and co. did not want to risk him in a high intensity game that could have worsened his injury.

In fact, he trained with a bandage today after the game, which further points to his slow recovery.

Even when Alejandro Balde picked up an injury in the first half of the clash, Barcelona fans expected Cancelo to come on to replace him as the left-back, but Xavi opted to sub in Hector Fort, who was one of the only positives from the loss.

Barcelona will host Villarreal in the league this weekend, and the Manchester City loanee is expected to be a part of the squad list, but will likely not start. Jules Kounde is expected to take charge of the right-back position, while Hector Fort continues as the left-back.

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