BARCELONA – A strong outbreak of Covid-19 hit Barcelona hard, which this Wednesday reported three more cases (Ousmane Dembélé, Samuel Umtiti and Gavi) and already has seven affected on the staff, adding the acquaintances of Jordi Alba, Dani Alves, Clement Lenglet and the youth squad Alejandro Balde.
The concern within the club is enormous, since, for the moment, facing Sunday’s game against Mallorca, Xavi only has ten players with a first-team card available in full conditions.
The chapter of casualties at Barça is completed by the injured Memphis Depay, Sergi Roberto, Martin Braithwaite and Ansu Fati; To which the sanctioned Sergio Busquets (in addition to Gavi) are added and Pedri, Sergiño Dest and Yusuf Demir remain in doubt.
All this without counting Ferran Torres, who like Alves is not registered (and also remains injured). Among those available is Luuk de Jong, whose immediate departure to Cádiz is being negotiated.
Thus, four days after visiting Mallorca, Barça has goalkeepers Marc-André ter Stegen and Neto, defenders Ronald Araújo, Gerard Piqué, Eric García and Oscar Mingueza, midfielders Frenkie de Jong, Philippe Coutinho and Riqui Puig and Luuk de Jong as a forward.
Added to them, with a filial from the subsidiary, the goalkeeper Iñaki Peña, the midfielder Nico González and the forwards Abde and Jutglà as usual in Xavi Hernández’s plans, who to complete the list of summoned for Sunday already begins to do accounts with the footballers of the second team who will have to join, having summoned midfielder Álvaro Sanz to train under him.
Although LaLiga regulations specify that seven players with a first team card must remain on the pitch, an update approved with prevention due to the coronavirus pandemic on December 22 establishes that it can be played as long as an affected team has at least 13 footballers available among players from the first squad and from their dependent or subsidiary teams.
Likewise, and perhaps more importantly in the case of Barça, those who must remain on the pitch are reduced from seven to five players from the first team … equipment available, all of them should be in the field.