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Barcelona lose key midfielder ahead of El Clasico

Pedri is expected to miss Sunday’s meeting with Real Madrid after the Barcelona midfielder aggravated his injury during training.

The 20-year-old has missed Barcelona’s last six games in all competitions because of a thigh problem but he had been expected to recover in time for the crucial La Liga meeting at Camp Nou.

Unfortunately, numerous outlets in Spain have now reported that Pedri complained of discomfort after Friday’s training session and the midfielder has now been ruled out of the game and will also miss the chance to link up with the national team next week.

It’s a significant blow for Xavi but one which does not change much for the boss, who will instead stick with the midfield of Gavi, Frenkie de Jong and Sergio Busquets that has served so admirably in Pedri’s absence.

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Pedri isn’t the only player whose comeback has stalled, with winger Ousmane Dembele also battling a hamstring problem.

The Frenchman has missed 11 games because of the issue and recently had to slow down his attempts to return after complaining of further pain. Barcelona are reluctant to take any risks with Dembele, given his lengthy injury history, and will shut him down until after the international break.

Barcelona will return from the break with a trip to Elche on April 1 before the second leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final against Real Madrid four days later.

Pedri is expected to make it back in time for that Clasico, but this upcoming one is too soon for the midfielder.

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