Catalans expected to lose one of their top performers for the rest of the season
Barcelona have a very hectic week ahead of them in the Spanish top-flight as the Blaugrana will play three games in a span of seven days. They will kick-off this congested fixture spell at home against relegation-battling Cadiz on Monday, April 18 before visiting Real Sociedad a couple of days later.
The Catalans find themselves in a great spot right now as they are placed second in the points table, level on points with Sevilla but higher on goal difference. It is worth mentioning that they have also played one game less. At this crucial juncture, Barcelona find themselves without two of their regular starters.
Xavi Hernandez addressed the media in the build-up to their game against Cadiz and revealed that Gerard Pique and Pedri will both be out on the sidelines nursing their respective injuries. The 19-year pld midfielder has been in a rich vein of form and has produced a string of sensational performances off late.
While speaking on Pedri, the Barcelona boss said:
“Without a doubt, he’s going through a tough time now. He’s been doing really well during the season. The most important thing is for him is to recover from his injury, but what happened is part of the sport.”
The Spanish international was substituted at half-time in the second leg of Barcelona’s quarter-final against Eintracht Frankfurt. He has helped the team win six crucial points in La Liga in their last two games. The midfielder netted the winner against Sevilla and scored after coming on from the bench against Levante.
It is being suggested that Pedri’s season is almost over and the hopes of a return before the end of the campaign are very bleak.
Veteran defender Pique is also a doubt for the Cadiz game. However, Xavi assured that his issue is rather minor and not much to worry about. He told the media:
“It’s not an injury as much it is the discomfort he’s been experiencing lately. There is nothing to worry about.”
It remains to be seen whether the Barcelona centre-back will line up at Camp Nou on Monday. The 35-year old missed the Europa League clash against Eintracht Frankfurt and given the fixture congestion, Xavi may decide to rest Pique for his involvement in future games.
Barcelona have a realistic chance of catching Real Madrid in the La Liga title race
As things stand, Carlo Ancelotti’s side are 12 points clear of the Blaugrana and comfortably sit at the top of the Spanish top-flight. However, the Catalan club have a game in hand and are also in high spirits due to their winning momentum. Since the turn of the year, Barcelona are unbeaten in La Liga. They have only drawn two games from their last twelve, winning on every other occasion.
Los Blancos have also got a comparatively difficult fixture list. They play Sevilla away on Sunday night and have games against Atletico Madrid and Real Betis for the remainder of their season. Mathematically, the hopes for this La Liga title race are alive, but one would expect Real Madrid to use their experience and professionalism to avoid losing the title.