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Xavi says Robert Lewandowski and Ilkay Gündogan will not be rested in Barcelona’s clash with Las Palmas

Barcelona return from the international break with a La Liga clash against Las Palmas on Saturday, which will be the only game Barça will play before their massive trip to France for the Champions League quarter-final first leg against Paris Saint-Germain.

A few reports during the week claimed that Xavi Hernández was set to leave many of his big name stars on the bench to rest them for the clash with PSG, but the coach quickly dismissed that idea during a press conference on Friday.

When asked about the condition of two key veterans in Ilkay Gündogan and Robert Lewandowski, who have played a lot of minutes for club and country all season and during the latest international window, the boss made it clear they will be involved in Saturday’s game.

Xavi was also full of praise for Gündogan, who according to the coach has had a big impact that goes beyond the stats.

“I spoke with them yesterday and today and they feel good. They will be ready for tomorrow. They have accumulated a lot of minutes but they will be ready for tomorrow. Tomorrow is not the ideal day to rest and even more so when we have 10 days until the next game.

“The season that Gündogan is having is excellent. There are the numbers, but everything he gives us is innumerable. Everything he gives us, his personality and experience… He is a totally differential and basic footballer for the team.”

Xavi clearly believes the 10-day gap between the Las Palmas game and the trip to Paris is enough to recover and prepare the team after Saturday, and he and his staff know better than anyone the physical condition of each player in the squad.

Barça are also still alive in La Liga, and a win against Las Palmas would put a ton of pressure on Real Madrid ahead of their clash against Athletic Bilbao. Lewandowski and Gündogan give Barça a better chance to beat Las Palmas, so Xavi wants to make sure of the three points before focusing on PSG.

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