With El Clasico less than 24 hours away, Barcelona has suffered a big blow as their important player is not completely fit for the game.
The world is getting ready for the biggest footballing rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona. And both the clubs are also preparing for the most difficult La Liga fixture of the season.
While both Zidane and Valverde will want to pick their best XI for the crucial fixture, the league leaders have suffered a big blow in their preparations. The reports from Diario Gol suggest that Barca captain Andres Iniesta might not play complete 90 minutes at the Santiago Bernabéu.
Iniesta Not 100% Fit:
The reports claim that Valverde has informed Leo Messi and other Barca players about Iniesta’s situation. The midfielder is likely to be substituted during the game and will not be on the field when the final whistle blows.
The 33-year old has been a part of 35 El Clasico so far but is struggling with the injuries this season. The Spaniard has already been injured 4-times this season and has not completely recovered from his latest injury against Celta Vigo.
Iniesta suffered a muscle fatigue in his left calf against Celta and missed the next two games. The midfield maestro returned for Barcelona’s 4-0 victory against Deportivo but was taken off in the 56th minute.
Injuries have created a lot of problems for Ernesto Valverde in the recent times as the likes of Umtiti, Dembele and Paco Alcacer miss the trip to Madrid because of it. And despite the manager naming Iniesta in the squad list for the game, his inclusion is still uncertain.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) December 22, 2017
The veteran has scored just one goal this season but his creative passes and lovely touches have played an important part in Barcelona’s undefeated season so far.
Barcelona faces Real Madrid on Saturday with 11 points gap between two teams. The Catalans sit at the top of the table and their rivals Real at the 4th. The Los Blancos have played one less game than Barcelona. The league holders were in UAE, where they won the Club World Cup for the 2nd consecutive time.
Iniesta is crucial for Barcelona in the midfield. He showed it with his 56-minute performance against Deportivo. But Valverde should think twice before picking him in the starting XI. After all, he definitely doesn’t want to repeat Zidane’s mistake of playing Bale in the last EL Clasico.
But if Iniesta decides to play, we are in for a treat. Check out his beautiful pass to Messi against Deportivo: