Ernesto Valverde has no fresh injury concerns to deal with ahead of the visit of a struggling Las Palmas side to Camp Nou on Sunday.
Barcelona will be aiming to head into the international break with their perfect record intact as they host Las Palmas, who are struggling for stability at the present moment, at Camp Nou on Sunday. Ernesto Valverde, though, approaches the game with very little issues affecting his side.
Indeed, the Barcelona boss has no fresh injury concerns to deal with ahead of the visit of Las Palmas, heading into the match with a near-full strength squad, with just the two key first-team players unavailable due to their long-term fitness problems.
Ousmane Dembele has undergone surgery on the thigh injury he sustained against Getafe earlier this month, and is believed to be sidelined for the next four months. Rafinha is the other player who is unavailable, currently recovering from the knee injury that has kept him out of action since April.
Out-of-favour centre-back Thomas Vermaelen is out with gastroenteritis, but he was unlikely to make the matchday squad anyway. Meanwhile, Lucas Digne is a surprise absentee from Valverde’s squad, while Arda Turan and Paco Alcacer are out of favour as well.
Ernesto Valverde aiming to complete full house against Las Palmas pic.twitter.com/UumvJjLPbS
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) September 30, 2017
Gerard Deulofeu missed the midweek Champions League game at Sporting Lisbon due to an unspecified problem, but is in contention to feature on Sunday after being named in the squad to face Las Palmas.
Valverde pointed towards the importance of entering the international break with a “full house of wins” during his pre-match press conference, while also hinting towards a possible rotation at right-back involving Nelson Semedo, Sergi Roberto and Aleix Vidal.
“It’s very important to win going into the international break. The first came very quickly and this one comes after the ninth competitive match. We’ll try to go into it with a full house of wins, which would be a great end to this first stage.
“Semedo is a very fast player and is a safe bet for taking on tough opponents. But I also have very different players in Sergi Roberto and Aleix Vidal who can cover for that position well too. I consider it an advantage to have so many different options.”
Meanwhile, Las Palmas manager Pako Ayestaran, appointed just two days prior to Sunday’s game has a sizable task at hand, with as many as seven first-team players likely to be unavailable for the trip to Camp Nou.
Loic Remy (muscle injury), Alfredo Ortuno (ankle) and Pedro Bigas (knee) are major doubts, while Vitolo, Dani Castellano (both thigh), Sergi Samper (calf) and Alan Halilovic (sprained ankle) are short-term absentees.