Heading into the first el clasico of the season, Barcelona were without Jules Kounde, Robert Lewandowksi, Raphinha, Frenkie de Jong, and Pedri in their starting lineup. All of them had picked up injuries, with the latter two not even in the squad list for the game.
Frenkie de Jong and Pedri’s absence was the most evident, though, as Barcelona failed to control the game after the 60th minute despite having a 1-0 lead courtesy of an early goal from Ilkay Gundogan.
Fermin Lopez and Gavi had done exceptionally well to set the tempo of the match alongside Gundogan, but the former was replaced by Oriol Romeu after Jude Bellingham’s first goal, after which things started going downhill.
Good news is around the corner, though, as a report from SPORT claims that de Jong and Pedri are set to return to the team against Real Sociedad next weekend.
As far as the Dutchman is concerned, he was in contention to return against Real Madrid this weekend, but was not given the medical green light by the medical staff. Instead, Jules Kounde made the list against all odds.
Barcelona have struggled without de Jong’s services this season, winning only four of the seven games available, losing once. They have scored only ten goals in the process, compared to 21 in seven games with him in the team.
Pedri, on the other hand, has been missing for longer. He picked up an injury following the game against Cadiz on matchday two, and has not recovered since despite being a part of the first-team training dynamics.
Barcelona fans can expect to see Lewandowski in the starting lineup against Sociedad next weekend, with Raphinha also in contention to take back his spot as the right-winger.