Barcelona will face Mallorca in a La Liga clash on Tuesday without the services of two key players, Pedri and Frenkie de Jong.
Pedri continues to be sidelined due to a thigh injury, but head coach Xavi has provided some optimism, revealing that the Spanish international is nearing a return to action.
However, Frenkie de Jong is set to be absent for approximately six weeks due to an ankle injury he sustained during Barcelona’s 3-2 victory over Celta Vigo in the league on Saturday.
On a positive note, Ronald Araujo made his comeback from a hamstring issue as a substitute in the match against Celta Vigo and is available for selection in the clash against Mallorca.
Xavi acknowledged the significance of De Jong’s absence, stating, “Frenkie is a sensitive and very important loss for us because of the way we play and his exceptional performances since last season. We have many players who can fill his role, and we hope his absence won’t affect us too much. We’ll monitor his progress during the break, and we hope for a full and speedy recovery. Pedri is progressing well and will return when he feels ready.”
Despite the setbacks, Xavi expressed confidence in Barcelona’s squad depth, singling out Sergi Roberto, Fermin Lopez, and Gavi as pivotal players who can step up in the absence of Pedri and De Jong.
“We have alternatives, including Sergi Roberto, who is a fantastic asset for me as a coach and a luxury option. Fermin is a revelation, and he can make a significant contribution. Gavi is a complete player who can excel both defensively and offensively. He is a tremendous talent, an indispensable part of the team. He needs to provide assists and goals for a midfielder of his quality, and I’m delighted with his performance.”
Xavi also offered insights on Mallorca, acknowledging their defensive strength, solidity, and the physical prowess of their team. He highlighted the challenge that Mallorca poses, given their direct style of play and the quality of players like Vedat Muriqi, Abdon Prats, and Sergi Darder.
Barcelona currently leads the La Liga table with 16 points, having won five and drawn one of their six matches this season.