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“Barcelona’s High-Stakes Gamble: Star Trio’s Race Against Time for Real Madrid Showdown – Exclusive Report”

Following a tight victory against Athletic Club, all eyes are on the upcoming weekend encounter against Real Madrid, which Barcelona will face for the first time this season.

However, before facing Real Madrid, Barcelona has one more UEFA Champions League match in midweek against Shakhtar Donetsk.

Barcelona are unlikely to have many injured players back to full health before of this game, raising concerns regarding El Clasico as well.

Xavi hopeful of return of star trio

However, in a major positive for Barcelona, it appears Xavi Hernandez is hoping to have three of his star players returning to action against Real Madrid.

According to Alfredo Martinez, Xavi is hopeful of the return of Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha and Frenkie de Jong.

All three have made significant strides in their path to recovery, and if things continue to move on as they are, they can be available against Real Madrid this weekend.

However, it must be noted that their availability once again depends on how they continue their recovery process. The coming days could prove to be critical, in that regard.

What are the other options for Xavi?

Despite the positive update, de Jong returning to full fitness for the Real Madrid game might be a bit of a stretch. Even Lewandowski still has a long way to go.

As far as Xavi is concerned, he has limited options in the attacking unit, especially if both Raphinha and Lewandowski remain out.

Marc Guiu made an astonishing start to his career at the weekend and should be an option for Xavi this weekend. However, whether or not the youngster starts this game remains to be seen.

There are limited options in midfield, too. Barcelona are particularly unsure about the return of Pedri, who is likely to miss out against Real Madrid and might not return until the Real Sociedad clash.

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