FC Barcelona Receives Huge Double Champions League Injury Blow To ‘Untouchable’ Stars

FC Barcelona received a huge double injury blow at Athletic Club on Sunday, which led to AS correspondent Javi Miguel reporting that the players in question are practically ruled out of an upcoming Champions League clash against Napoli on March 12. Barca went into a La Liga meeting with the Basques in San Mames on a mission, aware that a win would cut Real Madrid’s lead at the top to six points after Los Blancos drew 2-2 with Valencia on Saturday.

With Girona losing to Mallorca earlier in the day, Xavi’s men could also finally reclaim second place in a firmer fashion despite previously losing 4-2 to their Catalan neighbors back in December.


Barca started well versus an outfit that reached the Copa del Rey final this week and indeed knocked them out of the same competition at the quarter-final phase last month.

It didn’t take long for bad luck related to injuries, which has been a constant this term, rearing its ugly head, however.

Not even halfway through the first half, Frenkie de Jong went to ground after an aerial challenge and needed to be stretchered off following a failed attempt to hobble off.

Then two minutes later, on the stroke of the interval, Pedri left the proceedings in tears when planting his foot on the turf awkwardly upon dispatching a pass.

During the interval, Miguel, who is close to head coach Xavi Hernandez’s locker room, reported De Jong has suffered a “significant sprain” to his right ankle while Pedri’s knock “points to a relapse of his right thigh” injury.

Miguel added that it will be “very difficult” for the Dutchman to make the cut for Napoli on March 12, while Pedri is “completely ruled out”.

Drawing 1-1 in a last 16 first leg tie in the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona, Barca has its European future on the line in the return fixture ahead of Xavi stepping down from his role on June 30.

With both these ‘untouchable’ stars ruled out, Xavi will likely have to return to a 4-3-3 which fields two pure wingers.

While central defender Andreas Christensen continues to operate as a pivot, De Jong’s substitute against Athletic Club, Fermin Lopez, will most likely partner Ilkay Gundogan for the foreseeable future.

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