Barcelona Rocked By Injuries to Pedri & Jordi Alba


Getty Pedri in action for Barcelona against Bayern Munich in the Champions League

Barcelona has confirmed that midfielder Pedri and left-back Jordi Alba are both sidelined after picking up injuries during Tuesday’s Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich.

Pedri played all 90 minutes of the 3-0 loss but will miss Barcelona’s next La Liga game against Granada on Monday, September 20. A statement from the club read, “The first team player Pedri has a quadriceps muscle injury in his left thigh. The player is unavailable for selection and his recovery will dictate his return.”

Meanwhile, Alba had to be replaced after 74 minutes. The club confirmed after the match he had suffered a hamstring problem and has now offered an update on the club’s website.

“Tests carried out on Wednesday morning on Jordi Alba have revealed that he has inured the biceps femoris muscle in his right hamstring,” the club said in an update. “As a result, the player is unavailable for selection until he has recovered.”

The injuries come at a bad time for Barcelona with the Catalan giants facing a hectic run of fixtures next week. Ronald Koeman’s side take on Granada, Cadiz, and Levante in the space of seven days in La Liga.

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Barca Injuries Piling Up

Barcelona’s injuries are now piling up with Alba and Pedri joining attackers Martin Braithwaite, Sergio Aguero, Ansu Fati, and Ousmane Dembele in the treatment room.

According to Javi Miguel at AS, Alba is expected to miss “3-4 weeks” and will sit out games against Granada, Cadiz, Levante, Benfica, and Atletico Madrid. The left-back could return against Valencia on October 17.

Pedri’s prognosis is slightly better but the teenager is still set to miss key games and may not return until the trip to Atletico on October 2. Tuesday’s defeat to Bayern was Pedri’s first game back for Barcelona since being handed an overdue vacation following his exploits for club and country in 2020-21.

More Chances For Barca’s Youngsters?

Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman must now decide how to replace Pedri and Alba in his starting XI which could mean more opportunities for some of the club’s youngsters to gain valuable first-team minutes.

Left-back Alejandro Balde replaced Alba against Bayern, making his debut in the process, and the 18-year-old could now get the chance to stake a claim.

Koeman could also look to use Sergino Dest on the left of defense. The USMNT star’s regular position is on the opposite flank but he has been used on the left previously by the Dutchman.

Pedri could be replaced by Sergi Roberto who started the season in midfield and has scored twice and picked up an assist in his first three La Liga games. However, the versatile 29-year-old dropped back to right wing-back against Bayern and was whistled by some supporters as he left the field.

Koeman could therefore look to 17-year-old Gavi or 19-year-old Nico Gonzalez to fill in for Pedri. Riqui Puig is also a possibility but has struggled for game time under Koeman during the Dutchman’s tenure and hasn’t managed a single minute so far in 2021-22.

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