FC Barcelona boss Xavi Hernandez has confirmed that, as expected, he will be unable to call on a trio of key performers for the club’s meeting with Mallorca on Sunday.
Barca are of course set to make the club’s post-New Year return to action in a little over 24 hours’ time.
On the back of a shaky close to 2021, the Blaugrana will make the trip to Mallorca on Sunday evening, hopeful of getting their campaign, and push for a spot in the top-4 in La Liga, firmly back on track.
To say that the hopes of Xavi and co. of precisely that have been thrown into disarray over the course of the last week, though, would be something of an understatement.
Amid a campaign to date riddled with injury woes, Barcelona’s squad has now been struck down by a major outbreak of Covid-19.
As things stand, a hefty ten members of the Catalans’ first-team ranks are in the midst of spells in self isolation, including the likes of Sergino Dest, Samuel Umtiti, Jordi Alba, Gavi and Ousmane Dembele.
Sergiño Dest, Coutinho and Ez Abde positive for COVID-19.
The players are in good health and self-isolating at home.
The Club has reported the cases to the relevant authorities. pic.twitter.com/pQVqwkykjT
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) December 30, 2021
Trio ruled out
As such, it goes without saying that Xavi was no doubt hopeful of receiving at least some form of positive news on the personnel front in the buildup to Sunday’s trip to Son Moix.
Precisely the opposite of that, however, is what was ultimately confirmed this afternoon.
Speaking in a pre-match press conference, the Barcelona boss was drawn on the recovery efforts of sidelined stars Ansu Fati, Memphis Depay and Pedri, amid hopes that at least one of the three could yet return to feature against Mallorca.
As confirmed by the Spaniard, however, the key trio are in line to miss out once again on Sunday, having only returned to partial training over the course of the week to date.
❌ El entrenador del Barça explicó que Pedri, Ansu Fati y Memphis Depay “no están al cien por cien, no cuento con ellos”https://t.co/kOCb9X0S1l
— Diario SPORT (@sport) January 1, 2022