Eight first-team members of Barcelona will be absent from Wednesday’s La Liga match against Osasuna.
When the Catalan team plays Jagoba Arrasate’s team in the league, they will be looking to recover from their 5-3 home loss to Villarreal on Saturday.
But Xavi, who said over the weekend that he will step down as head coach this summer, won’t be able to use all eight of his players for the match.
Fitness issues prevent Gavi, Alejandro Balde, Marcos Alonso, Raphinha, Inigo Martinez, Joao Felix, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, and Sergi Roberto from being selected.
Felix is the most recent player from Barcelona to sustain an injury. During training on Tuesday morning, the Portugal international hurt his ankle, and it is anticipated that he will miss the next month’s play.
Unai Hernandez has benefited from the absences to be called up, while Marc Casado, Pau Cubarsi, and Hector Fort all have positions in the team once again.
Due to the injury issue, Xavi has only been able to choose four forwards: 16-year-old Lamine Yamal, Robert Lewandowski, Vitor Roque, and Ferran Torres.
Barcelona is still vying for two medals this season—La Liga and the Champions League—despite their recent disappointments in the Spanish Super Cup and Copa del Rey.
The Catalan team is now 11 points behind Girona, the division leaders, who have played one more game than the defending champions, in fourth place in the La Liga standings.
Osasuna is unbeatable on defence. They have a high goal total. It will cost us tomorrow (Wednesday), and we need to stick together,” Xavi said during the pre-game news conference on Tuesday.
“We need to attack and defend more effectively. As a result, many players’ performances gradually decline. We must be critical of ourselves. Reach the same level.
“We need to offset Girona’s 11 points. However, the Champions League exists. We must compete even if we are thrilled.”
Barcelona has won the past four league meetings between the two teams, including the rematch in September of last year, and defeated Osasuna 2-0 when the two teams played in the Spanish Super Cup semi-finals earlier this month.
Team Barcelona vs. Osasuna:
Araujo, Cancelo, Christensen, Kounde, Cubarsi, Fort; U Hernandez, Pedri, F Lopez, Romeu, F de Jong, Gundogan, Casado; F Torres, Lewandowski, Roque, Yamal