Barcelona made the trip to Mestalla to take on Valencia yesternight in a clash that has, historically, produced brilliant matches.
While this one was far from an exciting outing for either side, Xavi’s men will be happy with the result, courtesy of a 92nd-minute winner from Robert Lewandowski.
Valencia posed a ton of trouble for the visitors on the night, setting up in a deep block that had little to no cracks. And even though Barça walked away with a win, they were troubled with two injuries, both to their centre-backs, Eric Garcia and Jules Kounde.
However, according to a report from Javi Miguel, neither of the two have picked up a serious injury, and are expected to make it back in time to face Almeria next weekend.
Before that, though, Barcelona will taking on Viktoria Plzen in the Champions League. Kounde and Eric are unlikely to travel with the team to Czech Republic.
The game has no consequence on the Catalans’ immediate future, though, as they have already dropped to the Europa League. As such, Xavi can opt to use one or both of Marcos Alonso and Gerard Pique as centre-backs.
Not to forget, we could also see the return of Andreas Christensen, who picked up an injury on 4th October vs Inter Milan, and has been ruled out since then.
Barcelona’s centre-backs have been falling like bowling pins all season, with both Kounde and Eric picking up their second injuries of the season. Ronald Araujo, meanwhile, has a hamstring injury and will likely only return after the World Cup – which he is expected to miss.
This leaves Xavi with just Pique as his natural centre-back. The Spaniard was largely impressive in bits and pieces this season before dropping a horror-class against Inter at the Camp Nou in the 3-3 draw.
However, the Spaniard has been left on the sidelines for the majority of this season as the coaching staff believes the player can no longer put in consistent top-level displays.
With the World Cup on the edge, how Xavi and co. deal with the recurring injuries to their centre-halves remains to be seen.