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Barcelona 20-year-old youngster in line to start vs Mallorca after double injury blow



Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Barcelona find themselves in a very delicate situation entering the business end of the season, for they are dealing with several injury problems.

Gavi and Alejandro Balde have been ruled out for the rest of the season already. To add to that, two pillars of Xavi Hernandez’s side, Pedri and Frenkie de Jong, sustained fresh injuries last night against Athletic Club.

De Jong sustained an ankle ligament sprain which is set to sideline him for four to five weeks. Meanwhile, Pedri has injured his hamstring again – for the third time this season – and could be out for up to six weeks.

Fermin Lopez to benefit from the absences

With no Pedri and Frenkie de Jong, Fermin Lopez is in line to start for Barcelona when they take on RCD Mallorca this Friday night, reports SPORT.

The 20-year-old academy graduate was Xavi’s first-choice substitute last night after De Jong’s injury, even though he had other options like Sergi Roberto and Oriol Romeu.

Xavi had the option of returning to the three forwards by introducing Lamine Yamal or Joao Félix, but he opted to stick with a four-man midfield setup by introducing Fermin. With the subsequent injury to Pedri, he did put Yamal in attack to revert to a traditional 4-3-3.

As such, Fermin has every chance of starting on Friday at Montjuïc against Mallorca. He will likely be paired with Ilkay Gundogan and Andreas Christensen or Oriol Romeu in midfield.

Injuries will force Xavi to go into the game with three pure attackers, with Robert Lewandowski likely to be partnered by two of Raphinha, Lamine Yamal, or Joao Felix.

Fermin’s game-time had taken a hit in recent games with Xavi counting him less and less. But the 20-year-old did score in the 4-0 win against Getafe and will now get his chance again to earn himself a place in the team for the UEFA Champions League clash vs Napoli.

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