Barcelona have been dealt a major blow in the build-up to the El Clasico next weekend with star defender Gerard Pique’s return still a major doubt. It is understood that the players return to action has been hampered by more than just one delay.
Essentially, Pique is completely ruled out of the clash against Real Valladolid on Matchday 29, and his progress will be monitored until next week before a conclusion is reached. The veteran defender has not trained with the team and is not even scheduled to participate in any sessions in the coming days.
Spanish publication, AS, have mentioned in a report that the 34-year-old Barcelona defender has struggled to recover from the relapse he suffered against Sevilla in the Copa del Rey semi-final second-leg fixture. The player scored a crucial goal in the match’s closing minutes before picking a knock in additional time.
Gerard Pique Injury Ahead Of El Clasico
Although Pique would want to return in time for the clash against Real Madrid, it would not be the wisest decision to allow him in the matchday squad. Pique miraculously recovered from his first ligament injury in a span of 2 and a half months when the expected return was four months.
Barcelona’s urgency to have Pique back massively backfired the last time around as the Spaniard’s knee gave way in just four matches. Also, let’s not forget the horrible show Pique put up against Paris Saint-Germain on his return.
Ronald Koeman will, however, be expecting the return of Sergi Roberto from injury. Roberto also got injured in the clash against Atletico Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano initially before suffering from a relapse just immediately on his return. Roberto’s return from injury will give Ronald Koeman lots of options and possibilities to tinker with in terms of formation and tactics. Roberto is versatile and can be slotted into midfield or defence without much difficulty.