Sun, 10 Dec 2023

MADRID, Sept. 25 (Xinhua) -- FC Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez is looking to the depth of his squad to help them get over injuries to two key players in midfield.

Spain international midfielder Pedri is still recovering from injury and will miss Tuesday's trip to Mallorca, while Frenkie de Jong also faces a spell on the sidelines.

The Dutch midfielder, who had been in excellent form at the start of the season, suffered an injury "to the tibiofibular syndesmosis in his right ankle" in Saturday's 3-2 win at home to Celta Vigo, according to the club website.

Although Barca have not said how long De Jong will be out of action, initial indications show that it will be between six weeks and two months.

That means he will miss a host of games, including the first Clasico of the season against Real Madrid, along with several UEFA Champions League group matches.

"They are major losses," admitted Xavi in his press conference on Monday, before he pointed out the depth of the squad he has.

"We have different players to fill those gaps. We can rotate the bench, and that's very important."

"One of the best things about this squad is its versatility. We have different kinds of players for different positions. Players like Sergi Roberto, Gavi, Joao Cancelo, (Ilkay) Gundogan, Joao Felix, (Jules) Kounde and (Ronald) Araujo who can adapt so well," commented the Barca coach.

Araujo returned as a substitute against Celta following his latest muscle injury and could return to the starting 11 on Tuesday, while Raphinha, Gavi and Lamine Yamal also have options of returning to the starting lineup.

Mallorca host Barcelona after conceding five goals in Girona on Saturday, and are likely to sit deep and look to try and hurt Barca from set pieces aimed at their big striker Vedat Muriqi.

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