As if the 3-0 thrashing against FC Bayern Munich last night in the opening match of the UEFA Champions League was not enough, FC Barcelona now have some more worries to ponder upon. After already losing out on a lot of main team players owing to injury, FC Barcelona are now set to miss two star players namely Pedri Gonzalez and Jordi Alba for an unspecified number of days which implies that they will be unavailable for the match against Granada on 21st September.
FC Barcelona are already many men down which was well evident in the fact that their new signing, loanee Luuk De Jong had to make his debut in a match as important as the Champions League opening clash against Bayern Munich. Carlos Braithwaite, Sergino Dest and Ansu Fati are just few of the players who are already out injured for an unknown period of time. Lack of main team players restricted head coach Ronald Koeman from going full throttle against the German champions last night. As he said in the post match conference, it was the ‘best they could do’.
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Pedri Gonzalez is one of the central characters in FC Barcelona’s midfield right now and he makes his presence felt in almost every match. Even last night, it was he who was supplying the delicious long balls to Sergi Roberto, changing the flank to offer some dynamism in Barca’s play. Unfortunately those of were ultimately made no use of as Alphonse Davies overshadowed Sergi Roberto in the right flank with his pace and physicality.
But irrespective of the result, it is a no brainer that FC Barcelona need Pedri in the midfield. Remember the time when Ronald Koeman played him for a full ninety minutes in a time when the fans were crying to give the boy some rest? There was a reason for that.
Another player that FC Barcelona look helpless without, is Jordi Alba as the Catalunyans have still not found an appropriate alternative in the left back position. And after the transfer of Jr Firpo to Leeds United, they indeed have no proper left back to replace Alba in case he gets injured. Which is exactly why Barca will struggle in the coming days with him out injured.
What has been said in FC Barcelona’s statement
FC Barcelona took to twitter to announce the injuries of the two players in concern. In the official statement, they wrote, “The first-team player Pedri has a quadriceps muscle injury in his left thigh. The player is unavailable for selection and his recovery will dictate his return.”
Regarding Jordi Alba, it read: “Tests carried out on Wednesday morning on the first-team player Jordi Alba show that he has a hamstring injury in his right thigh.”
“The player is unavailable for selection and his recovery will dictate his return.”
What Ronald Koeman said about the unavailability of players
FC Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman looked seemingly very dejected after last night’s loss and he complained about the unavailability of players due to the injury crisis. He said, “There were only three strikers available.”
“Tactically there were moments in which we were in control. Bayern’s game is in the middle third and you have to fill [the gaps] there. It is what it is for the time being. I cannot complain about the attitude, but there is a difference in quality.”
“They are a team that as a group have been together for a long time and also have a bench that has improved.”