A pair of key Barcelona players set to miss El Clasico

Pedri of FC Barcelona. (Photo by Gualter Fatia/Getty Images)
Pedri of FC Barcelona. (Photo by Gualter Fatia/Getty Images) /

In certain aspects, the future of Barcelona’s season is set to be decided this week. They did well to beat Valencia over the weekend and need a win in the Champions League to stay alive.

The final challenge, so to speak, then comes over the weekend when they take on Real Madrid in the first Clasico of the season. However, to beat their biggest rival, they’ll have to do so without two of their most important players.

Neither Pedri nor Ronald Araujo are going to be available for the match leaving manager Ronald Koeman in an unenviable situation.

Both Barcelona players are still recovering from their injuries

According to Diario AS, barring a miracle, Koeman is not going to be able to count on one of his best midfielders nor his best center back. Pedri hasn’t even kicked a ball around and Araujo likely needs another week to recover.

The Barcelona medical staff are being careful with the 18-year-old as he is coming off a relapse. He suffered the injury back on September 15 in the Champions League against Bayern Munich. He came back to play against Benfica two weeks later and picked up the same knock.

As for Araujo, he got injured while on the international break with Uruguay. With some luck, he could be available when Barcelona travel to take on Dynamo Kyiv in Kyiv.

It’s not all bad news as Ousmane Dembélé has not been ruled out. He is another player the club is treading with very carefully considering he’s spent a large chunk of his Barcelona career out injured. If he makes the squad list, he might be available for a cameo like Sergio Aguero was against Valencia.

The absences conditions how Koeman sets out his team. In the big games so far this season, he’s opted to use a 3-5-2 formation. The Dutchman has used it in the Champions League but with disastrous results.

He’s down a center back and a midfielder so he may opt to stick with the 4-3-3.

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A win against Real Madrid would go a long way in boosting the team’s confidence as well as the position in the table. They’ll be ahead of Madrid and it would mark the first time Barcelona beat them during Koeman’s tenure.