Following a month-long halt due to the FIFA World Cup 2022, club football will resume in the next couple of weeks. And FC Barcelona will restart their La Liga campaign with a home game against local rivals RCD Espanyol on December 31.
With the match just two weeks away, manager Xavi Hernandez has chalked out the training plans for his players for the next 14 days so that they are in proper shape and condition when the campaign resumes.
According to AS, Xavi does not wish to leave any loose ends for their derby against Espanyol and wants to be able to count on the entire squad for the visit of the Parakeets, although Robert Lewandowski’s involvement remains uncertain as Barcelona await on a decision on their appeal to overturn his three-match ban.
So far, Barcelona have welcomed back Andreas Christensen, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Lewandowski, Ansu Fati, Eric Garcia and Alejandro Balde following their involvement at the World Cup. More and more players are expected to rejoin in the coming days.
Over the next two weeks, Xavi has reportedly planned a total of eight training sessions. There will be no sessions on Sunday, with the team set to have a party before beginning work on Monday, when the rest of the members of the Spanish national team are expected to return.
Xavi has planned four sessions for the coming week, which will be held on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, with an off day on Wednesday. It is also expected that Raphinha, Memphis Depay and Frenkie de Jong will be rejoining training next Thursday.
The players will also be given the next weekend off so that they can spend Christmas Eve and Christmas with their families.
Xavi will reconvene his troops on Monday, December 26, when he could be boosted by the returns of World Cup finalists Ousmane Dembele and Jules Kounde. During that week, the manager will have four more training sessions, with Thursday i.e., December 29, set to be an off day.
The manager also hopes to recover all the injured players over the next couple of weeks. Sergi Roberto has already received the medical green light while Franck Kessie, Ronald Araujo and Pablo Torre are slowly being eased back into training