Barcelona may have left Real Madrid too far behind in the La Liga title race with a 2-1 El Clasico win over the weekend. Xavi’s men are now 12 points ahead of their rivals with 12 games to go. But Carlo Ancelotti’s men still stand in their way of lifting the Copa del Rey.
The Blaugrana took a slender 1-0 lead in the first leg of the semi-final away from home and will have to once again bring their A game in the reverse fixture to ensure there’s no comeback triumph for the visitors at Camp Nou.
However, ahead of the second leg clash, scheduled to be played early in April, Xavi has been dealt a big blow with regard to team selection.
Pedri, who was hooked off with an injury against Manchester United in the first leg of the Europa League play-off round, was expected to return to action against Real Madrid. However, just days before the big clash, it was confirmed he has suffered an injury setback and won’t be available to face Los Blancos. He also withdrew from the Spain squad.
Huge blow for Barcelona ahead of Real Madrid clash in Copa del Rey
But now it is being reported by Relevo that he will not be ready to face the same opposition in the Copa del Rey as well. And the Spanish midfielder isn’t the only Barcelona man whose recovery hasn’t gone as positively as initially thought.
Ousmane Dembélé, who has remained on the sidelines since January, is also a doubt for the game. It is claimed that the latest tests confirm the French winger still needs more time.
Both Pedri and Dembele have frequently struggled with injuries, missing significant playing minutes during their time at Barcelona. With no European football left this season and La Liga title race all but over, it’s crucial game time of both talents – despite their importance in Xavi’s system – is carefully managed.