Going into the first El Clasico of the season, Barcelona and Real Madrid are in the same shattered boat. Both sides have numerous important players injured and will be far from their best throughout the match.
Madrid has been without first-choice custodian Thibaut Courtois, who sustained an ACL injury before the season began and has been sidelined for practically the whole season.
Eder Militao faced the same fate, but has now returned to individual training, though he will almost certainly miss the clasico. David Alaba, Vinicius, and Arda Guler have also been hurt.
As far as Barça is concerned, they have Frenkie de Jong out of action for a few more weeks, alongside Pedri, who has already missed several games this season. Raphinha joined this list, too, due to hamstring injury.
Arguably their best player this season, Jules Kounde, also picked up an injury vs Granada, and will be out until November, at least. Gavi and Lamine Yamal have also picked up knocks and are currently doubtful for the games post-international break.
Robert Lewandowski also suffered from an ankle injury vs Porto, and was initially ruled out for the game vs Madrid. His return will be determined by his recovery, though, but the player is not ready to put himself at risk for one game.
“I will honestly say there is no return date. It will all depend on how I feel, how my leg will react. Of course, El Clasico is a big game, but on the other hand, if I’m not at full strength, I will not even think about it,” he said, as quoted by GOAL Poland.
“Next week will give a lot of answers, not only to me, but also to the entire medical staff. The return time is sometimes faster thane expected, but I do not want to put any pressure on myself,” Lewandowski added.
Barcelona’s likely attack
With six of Barcelona’s 11 starters currently out of action, including the first-choice right-winger and striker, Xavi will likely have to improvise his front-three for el clasico.
Ferran Torres and Joao Felix will likely continue to man the left-wing and striker position, as the only fit forwards available. Yamal could be the third player in the team, if he remains fit.
On the contrary, Xavi could opt to use Fermin Lopez as one of the wingers to add more control to the midfield. Sergi Roberto scored vs Granada, and remains an option, as well.