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Barcelona defensive trio not injured, ready to play against Villarreal – report



Barcelona were outplayed by Ernesto Valverde’s Athletic Club at the San Mames in the Copa del Rey quarter-finals, winning 4-2 as the game went into extra-time. Xavi’s side were left helpless as Inaki Williams and Nico Williams scored in ET to win the game.

Barcelona suffered a fair few setbacks during the game that did not help them much, either.

Alejandro Balde went down injured in the first-half, and had to be substituted off for 17-year-old Hector Fort. Balde is now expected to be out for at least a month and a half.

Things went from bad to worse when Ronald Araujo went down holding his knee in the second-half. While he continued through the game, Andreas Christensen had to be replaced by Pau Cubarsi in the 70th minute due to a suspected knock.

If that was not enough, Fort suffered from major cramps during extra-time, and was barely even able to walk at one point. However, with all five substitutions over, the teenager stayed on the pitch and completed 90 minutes.

An update has been issued on their injuries by SPORT today, claiming that all three players are fit and ready to play against Villarreal on the weekend. Balde will, of course, be missing from the squad list, though.

All three are in contention to start, as well. With Joao Cancelo still recovering from his injury and not at 100% fitness, it seems unlikely that Xavi will risk him from the get-go.

Instead, Fort could get the nod to start as the left-back, while Kounde takes over the right-back spot. Araujo and Christensen will slot in as the central defenders. Pau Cubarsi will also be in the race for a spot, but Xavi will likely rest him after the exhausting Athletic Club clash.

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