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Xavi called up eight players from Barcelona’s youth and reserve squads for training today

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Photo by PAU BARRENA/AFP via Getty Images

With as many as 12 first-team players away on international duty, Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez has had to turn to the club’s youth and subsidiary squads to make up numbers in training sessions in recent days.

With Barça set to return to La Liga action on Saturday against Real Betis, the manager is working with the players who have not travelled for international duty while also dipping into the youth reserves.

Eight youth players called up

As per Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez called up as many as eight players from the youth and reserve team squads to train with the first-team members today.

Pau Cubarsi, who has become pretty much a regular fixture in first-team training sessions of late, was under Xavi’s commands today.

Along with the teenage centre-back, talented 16-year-old midfielder Marc Bernal, who has been a regular for Barça Atletic this term, and Juan Hernandez, also 16, were part of the sessions today.

Marc Guiu (17), Edu Sanchez (18), Aleix Garrido (19), Ander Astralaga (19), and Iker Goujou (24) were also part of Xavi’s training session today.

Compared to Monday’s session, Juan Hernandez and Astralaga were the fresh faces today, with the remaining six starlets also training under the first-team manager yesterday as well.

As for the first-team players, Inaki Pena, Sergi Roberto, Oriol Romeu, Marcos Alonso, Inigo Martinez, and Fermin Lopez, who is a fixture in the first-team setup nowadays, were involved.

Rotations on the cards

Given that Barcelona will play Real Betis on Saturday and take on Royal Antwerp in the UEFA Champions League three days later, Xavi is expected to rotate his troops in the coming games.

As such, the likes of Alonso, Roberto, Martinez, and even Lopez could be in for important minutes this weekend against Betis.

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