Robert Lewandowski will have a sufficient break in order to recover from his World Cup exertions with Poland, but may be forced to rest longer than he would like.
Poland were eliminated by France on Sunday in a 3-1 defeat, with Lewandowski netting a late consolation from the penalty spot. He will be back in Barcelona after a break with time to prepare for their first fixture back against Espanyol on the 31st of December.
That was a match he was guaranteed to miss through suspension, following his red card against Osasuna. Barcelona had appealed the extra two-game ban that Lewandowski had been handed for making a ‘gesture of disregard’ to the referee, but that appeal has been turned down, as per MD.
The club now have 15 days to take it to the Arbitration for Sports Tribunal, but any chances of a reduction now look slim. It means that in addition to the Espanyol match, Barcelona will be without their star striker for key fixtures against Atletico Madrid and Real Betis too.
Barcelona managed to make it to the World Cup break with the league lead after a gritty win over Osasuna, but it will be a tough task to maintain that lead coming off the break without their key sources of goals. Lewandowski is responsible for 13 of their 33 league goals this season and in Atleti and Betis, Barcelona face two of the top five.