Barcelona Confirm Injury Blow Ahead of Copa del Rey Semi-Final



Barcelona confirmed on Sunday that key midfielder Pedri has been ruled out of action with a muscle injury picked up in the 2-0 La Liga win over Sevilla on Saturday.

Pedri had to be taken off in the second half of the clash at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium and was replaced by 18-year-old Ilaix Moriba.

The midfielder has now undergone further tests on his injury and will now miss at least Wednesday’s Copa del Rey semi-final second leg against Sevilla.

The Catalan giants issued a brief statement regarding the midfielder on the club’s official website.

A medical assessment and tests performed this morning have shown that the first team player Pedri has a muscle stretch in the sole of his left leg. He is low and his evolution will mark its availability.

It should be remembered that Pedri has played a total of 37 games this season, in which he has scored three goals and delivered four assists, being one of the most used players in Ronald Koeman’s schemes.

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When Will Pedri Return?

Barcelona stopped short of offering a potential return date but Pedri’s injury is not thought to be too serious, according to journalist Anaïs Martí. The club expect the midfielder to miss two weeks although there is optimism he could return ahead of schedule.

If Pedri is out for a fortnight then he will miss some crucial games, starting with the visit of Sevilla on Wednesday. Barca then play Osasuna in La Liga on Saturday before heading to Paris for the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie against Paris Saint-Germain.

Barca’s next fixture is against struggling Huesca in La Liga at the Camp Nou. Pedri may come back into contention for that game or coach Ronald Koeman may prefer to wait until the trip to Real Sociedad on March 21.

How to Replace Pedri?

Koeman has some big decisions to make now over how to replace Pedri. The 18-year-old has cemented his place in the starting XI since joining the club last summer and is a regular fixture in midfield alongside Frenkie de Jong and Sergio Busquets.

The Barca boss opted to use Moriba as Pedri’s replacement on Saturday and could stick with the 18-year-old. The midfielder lacks first-team experience but did set up Lionel Messi for Barca’s second goal in his brief time on the pitch.

Riqui Puig is another option for Koeman and has featured in all three of Barca’s Copa del Rey fixtures this season. The 21-year-old’s last start came in the 5-1 win over Alaves in La Liga but he’s certainly in contention for Wednesday.

Pedri’s injury may also offer Miralem Pjanic some more game time. The midfielder has struggled to make an impact at Barca since joining from Juventus and missed Saturday’s match with an ankle injury.

Barca head into Wednesday’s second leg against Sevilla without Pedri but with confidence after beating Julen Lopetegui’s side on Saturday. The Catalans will need a similar performance if they are to progress to the final after losing the first leg 2-0.

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