Dembele’s Absence: Upcoming Fixtures Barcelona Must Face Without Him

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Barcelona are riding a wave of confidence having strung together a 13-game unbeaten run across all competitions, with the latest win in that streak coming today against Girona.

The Blaugrana beat their local rivals 1-0 in the Catalan derby, thanks to a goal from midfield sensation Pedri. However, the victory came at a cost as Barça lost star man Ousmane Dembele to an injury.

The 25-year-old had to be taken off just a little after the halfway mark in the first period due to a thigh complaint. And the initial prognosis is not all that positive as Dembele is expected to miss around 3-4 weeks of action.

Dembele has been directly involved in 15 goals this season across all competitions and was Barcelona’s most influential forward after Robert Lewandowski. So, this certainly comes as a blow for the Catalans given the form that the 2018 FIFA World Cup winner had been in of late.

More so, considering the array of important matches coming up for Xavi Hernandez’s side in the coming weeks.

Given that Dembele is expected be out for at least three weeks, he is likely to miss the following matches:

Real Betis vs Barcelona – La Liga (February 1)
Barcelona vs Sevilla – La Liga (February 5)
Villarreal vs Barcelona – La Liga (February 12)
Barcelona vs Manchester United – UEFA Europa League Playoff first-leg (February 16)

Apart from the aforementioned four fixtures, Dembele could also miss the Copa del Rey semi-final first leg, depending on who Barcelona draw in the competition.

If the Catalans face either Osasuna or Athletic Club, the first leg of the semi-final tie will be taking place on February 8, which the French would end up missing.

However, in case Barça draw Real Madrid, the match will take place at a later date due to the latter’s involvement in the Club World Cup, which would mean Dembele could have enough time to recover for that tie.

The plan for now, according to Javi Miguel, is to recover the winger for the second leg of the Europa League playoff tie against Manchester United on February 23. Ideally, the club would prefer him to get a few minutes in the game against Cadiz just before that.

But, it will depend on how Dembele’s recovery goes. Fans will be waiting with bated breath to learn the results of the tests that the Frenchman will be put through over the next couple of days to determine the extent of his injury.

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