Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez gives update on injured Barcelona players ahead of El Clasico

Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez has spoken to the press ahead of El Clasico, with one of the key topics the fitness of the Blaugrana contingent. They will face Real Madrid with six players having been injured up until now, although five of them are in the frame to return.

Raphinha, Robert Lewandowski, Frenkie de Jong, Pedri and Jules Kounde were all present in Barcelona’s final training session ahead of El Clasico on Friday, but only Lewandowski is expected to make the squad. Xavi refused to rule out any of their players, including Pedri.

“Everyone wants to force themselves to play. But the coaching staff doesn’t want to force anyone. They are committed to the team. We’ll see tomorrow.”

While he was coy on Lewandowski’s chances of making it.

“I won’t give any hints about the lineup, but he’s fine.”

In general, he was optimistic about the injured squadron, who returned earlier than expected.

“They surprised me too. Everyone wants to be there, we’ll see tomorrow. The feeling is very good. The squad list will be tomorrow. We’ll see how they felt. That everyone is available is fantastic.”

He was clear that they were all available for selection too, though, when only Raphinha was expected to be present. On Pedri, he was asked whether there was now a mental factor to consider, or whether his injury issues were.

“We don’t know if he notices the accumulated games… we don’t know if it is the decisive factor. The injuries are down to a variety of factors. With Pedri we set deadlines for ourselves. There is no problem with Pedri, or with the rest.”

“I think the news here is that everyone is available, if there is something to point out, it’s that some of these players were meant to be out for five weeks and are back in three. That speaks to the attitude of the players. The five footballers that looked as if they will be out, are in.”

Tags Barcelona El Clasico Frenkie de Jong Jules Kounde Pedri Raphinha Real Madrid Robert Lewandowski Xavi Hernandez
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