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Injury update: Barcelona centre-back did not arrive to the team hotel, participation unlikely

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Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images

Barcelona face Eintracht Frankfurt in a must-win game later today. The Blaugranes have failed to win at Camp Nou in their last three European games and will look to put an end to that on Thursday.

However, Xavi has one major selection conundrum ahead of the clash. Gerard Pique is yet to receive the medical all-clear after his injury in the first leg, leaving the manager in a tricky situation.

Ronald Araujo will be forced to start at right-back on the night, leaving Eric Garcia and Clement Lenglet as the only options in central defence. Given the result against Levante at the weekend, one can understand Xavi’s worry.

According to reports from Helena Condis, Pique and Xavi will decide the former’s participation before the game. The Spaniard did not arrive with the team at the hotel.

The World cup winner still has some pain but has asked for time until the last moment to see if he improves.

Pique has been in sensational form since Xavi’s arrival, turning back the clock and playing like he was ten years younger. However, he was taken off in the 23rd minute against Eintracht Frankfurt after experiencing some pain.

It was later revealed that the veteran did not suffer any fresh injury. His discomfort was because of an accumulation of minutes and more down to fatigue.

Xavi revealed after the first leg that Pique had been playing through pain for a long time before the Europa League clash.

“He has been in pain for quite some time and today he has suffered, hopefully it’s not very serious.”

His participation tonight continues to grow difficult as it stands. And if he is unable to get fit in time, Xavi might have to go with the centre-back pairing of Eric Garcia and Clement Lenglet with Ronald Araujo at right-back.

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