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Barcelona Face a Selection Crisis ahead of Taking on Mallorca

Among other football highlights today, Barcelona face a selection crisis ahead of taking on Mallorca in Sunday’s La Liga match. After all, three more players from Camp Nou have tested positive for COVID-19.

Ousmane Dembele, Samuel Umtiti and Gavi are now isolating at home following a positive PCR test for each of them. Although, Barca have reassured fans that the trio are in good health.

But their absence means Barca boss Xavi could be without up to 14 senior players when LaLiga resumes this weekend.

Barcelona Face a Selection Crisis ahead of Taking on Mallorca

As well as Dembele, Umtiti and Gavi; Jordi Alba, Alejandro Balde, Clement Lenglet and Dani Alves have all contracted coronavirus. Each tested positive for COVID-19 in the past week and so these seven players will be unavailable for the weekend.

These absences are compounded by an ever-growing injury list and suspensions. Also, a number of players are only just returning to fitness and may not be ready for match action.

Sergio Roberto won’t return until the spring after having thigh surgery while Memphis Depay is out with a hamstring injury.

All the while, full-back Sergino Dest is struggling with an adductor issue and Sergio Busquets is seeing out a suspension.

And though teenagers Pedri and Ansu Fati could return to play now, both would be way short on match fitness. They been on the side-lines since November, after all, with thigh and knee injuries respectively.

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The same applies to Martin Braithwaite, who had knee surgery in September and was initially not planning to return until mid-January.

Xavi will be wary of throwing these three players – still sick, injured, or recovering – back into competitive action too quickly. But he may even chance his players suffering a recurrence, having limited, available selections given the paucity of options elsewhere.

So, all in all, 14 experienced, first-team are unavailable for Barcelona through a combination of coronavirus, injury and suspension.

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