Dani Alves and Frenkie de Jong will return, but Pedri will miss out due to an injury when Barcelona and Cadiz clash at Camp Nou on Saturday.
Barcelona will hope to bounce back to winning ways when they play hosts to Cadiz at Camp Nou on Monday night. And Xavi Hernandez has been handed a twin blow on the team news front ahead of his side’s latest fixture.
The killer blow comes in the form of Pedri’s absence, with the Spanish international out for the remainder of the season due to a hamstring injury. In addition, Ronald Araujo is unavailable as he will serve a suspension after accumulating too many yellow cards.
Gerard Pique remains out due to his ongoing recovery from a groin injury, while Samuel Umtiti (foot) and Sergi Roberto (knee) are long-term absentees. But Sergino Dest is a part of the matchday squad again after returning to action last week. Xavi spoke about Pique and Pedri’s absence during his pre-match press conference, hoping for the latter’s efficient recovery.
The Barcelona boss said, “Without a doubt, he [Pedri] is going through a tough time now. He’s been doing really well during the season. The most important thing is for him is to recover from his injury, but what happened is part of the sport. It’s not an injury as much it is the discomfort he [Pique] has been experiencing lately. There is nothing to worry about.”
With Pique experiencing discomfort and Araujo suspended, Xavi has only three centre-backs at his disposal. So Clement Lenglet should pair up with Eric Garcia at the heart of the Barcelona defence, with Dani Alves returning to the right-back slot after missing the UEFA Europa League clash due to his ineligibility to play in the competition.
Jordi Alba picks himself in the left-back berth, while Marc-Andre ter Stegen is an automatic selection between the sticks for Barcelona. Up ahead in midfield, Pedri’s absence paves the way for Frenkie de Jong to return to the starting lineup. Gavi and Sergio Busquets should start alongside de Jong in the middle of the park. But Nico Gonzalez could replace Busquets to give the Barcelona captain some rest.
Finally, Xavi has all his resources at his disposal in the final third. And the Barcelona boss will stick with his first-choice trio of Ousmane Dembele, Ferran Torres, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the final third, leaving Adama Traore, Luuk de Jong, and Memphis Depay as backup options on the Barcelona bench.
Predicted Barcelona XI: ter Stegen; Alves, Garcia, Lenglet, Alba; de Jong, Busquets, Gavi; Dembele, Aubameyang, Torres