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Barcelona grapples with Gavi's season-ending injury ahead of challenging fixtures

Posted : 24 November 2023

Champions Barcelona face a challenging period as they visit Rayo Vallecano in LaLiga, dealing with the devastating cruciate ligament injury to midfielder Gavi, a player described by coach Xavi Hernandez as the "soul" of the team. Gavi's absence will be keenly felt, especially as Barcelona enters a tough run of fixtures, including a crucial Champions League clash with Porto and domestic battles against Atletico Madrid and league leaders Girona. Barcelona president Joan Laporta expressed sorrow over Gavi's injury, emphasizing the club's support for his recovery.


Sporting director Deco acknowledged the difficulty of finding a substitute for Gavi in the winter transfer window, highlighting the midfielder's irreplaceable nature. Barcelona has faced a series of injuries in recent weeks, but Gavi's setback is the most severe, impacting the team's intensity and pressing style.


The absence of Gavi was evident in Barcelona's lackluster performance against Alaves before the international break, a match they narrowly won 2-1. The return of Frenkie de Jong to training provides a potential boost, but there are doubts about the availability of goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.


Barcelona looks to key players like de Jong, Ilkay Gundogan, and Pedri to step up and compensate for the energy and tenacity Gavi brings to the team. Facing Rayo Vallecano, who recently frustrated Real Madrid in a 0-0 draw, Barcelona needs to overcome the challenge posed by Francisco's resilient side.


Girona, currently leading LaLiga, aims to maintain their two-point advantage over second-placed Real Madrid as they host Athletic Bilbao on Monday. Real Madrid, coping with injuries to key players like Eduardo Camavinga, Thibaut Courtois, Eder Militao, and Vinicius Junior, faces Cadiz on Sunday. With Barcelona and Real Madrid dealing with setbacks, Girona and Atletico Madrid look to capitalize and apply pressure at the top of the league.


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