Barcelona forward to miss clash against Napoli, Xavi confirms


Barcelona's Spanish midfielder #08 Pedri celebrates with Barcelona's French defender #23 Jules Kounde and Barcelona's Dutch midfielder #21 Frenkie de Jong after scoring his team's second goal during the Spanish league football match between FC Barcelona and Villarreal CF at the Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys in Barcelona on January 27, 2024.

Barcelona's Spanish coach Xavi gives a press conference on the eve of their UEFA Champions League last 16 second leg football match against SSC Napoli at the training center in Barcelona on March 11, 2024.

Ahead of the game between Barcelona and Napoli, both teams have things to figure out. In Barça’s case, Xavi’s greatest dilemma will be to field his strongest possible eleven to take on Napoli. However, the fortune of Barcelona has hardly been kind given the number of injuries they have sustained.

The major blows have come in the midfield department, where the likes of Frenkie De Jong and Pedri will not be there to help Barcelona. Instead, the Barcelona coach will have to look at alternative options to reinforce that specific area. However, it is not just the midfield that has presented problems in terms of absentees.

As highlighted by SPORT, Xavi has confirmed the loss of yet another Barcelona star, but this time in the attack. Despite reports claiming that this specific player will be back in time for the Napoli clash, it has now been confirmed by the Barcelona coach that his most efficient striker will not be included.

However, he did clarify that it is not a relapse that is holding him back: “There has been no relapse. The sensations are just not at 100% and we need everyone to be at their fullest (against Napoli).”

With this information, it becomes clear that Xavi will have one less asset in attack to work with. While the likes of Lamine Yamal and Robert Lewandowski seem to have cemented their places in the starting eleven, the case for their third partner in attack was wide open.

Given his scoring streak this season, and how efficient he has been with his chances, Torres would have been a great addition. Unfortunately, the most likely options left to now help out Lewandowski and Yamal in attack have thus been limited.

Joao Felix and Vitor Roque are the most likely candidates for Xavi to choose between, and they each bring their unique talents to the team. Without Torres, however, Xavi has one less proven goalscorer to work with, especially given his good run of form in the Champions League this season.

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