Tactical Insights

FC Barcelona Receives Positive Champions League Injury News

FC Barcelona has received rare good news on the injury front, as explained by Telefoot.

Barca staff and fans are currently paying attention to the international break in fear of its players catching the dreaded ‘FIFA Virus’ – i.e. first team squad members picking up injuries while representing their countries and therefore being ruled out of club action.

Though the Catalans look likely to cede their La Liga title to bitter rivals Real Madrid, who they currently trail by eight points at the summit, they still have a dog in the fight on the continent.

After back-to-back failures to do so in the last two seasons, Barca has finally qualified for the knockout phase and made it to the Champions League quarterfinals, where it will meet Paris Sant-Germain.

Head coach Xavi Hernandez already knows that he won’t be able to count on a figure he described as a ‘heart with legs’ in Gavi, with the youngster rupturing the ACL in his right knee back in November.

Barca posted a photo and video of the Spaniard training on the beach before the weekend as part of his recovery process, but he is still not expected to be seen in competitive action until next season.

The Blaugrana hopes to be able to count on Frenkie de Jong and Pedri against PSG, however, after they both picked up knocks in the first half of an away clash at Athletic Club earlier this month.

What is clear is that Barca can’t afford to lose any more players from now until the quarterfinal first leg in the French capital.

In that exact location on Saturday night, Xavi and Culers collectively winced when learning that Jules Kounde had left an eventual 2-0 defeat to Ilkay Gundogan’s Germany.

As confirmed by Telefoot journalist Saber Desfarges, however, Kounde did not suffer an ankle sprain or twist as originally suspected, and was merely hit with a “heavy blow” that required ice.

It remains to be seen whether he will start at right back for Les Bleus against Chile on Tuesday, and what kind of shape he returns to Xavi in for Barca’s home meeting with Las Palmas next weekend.

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