Though they remain unbeaten in La Liga and the Champions League this season, Xavi Hernandez and Barcelona have got big problems now Robert Lewandowski has joined a lengthening injury list.
The striker had to be substituted midway through the first-half of Barca’s European sojourn to Porto, Ferran Torres taking his place and scoring the goal that turned out to be the winner.
Xavi will be relying on Ferran finally coming good for an extended period as his main man could be out for some time yet.
According to the official Barcelona website, the Polish hit-man has a sprained left ankle and he won’t return until the injury has fully healed.
90Min speculate that could be a few weeks yet, and therefore Lewandowski could end up missing the games against Granada, Athletic Club, Shakhtar Donetsk (x2), Real Madrid and Real Sociedad.
With Pedri and Frenkie de Jong also sidelined, Barca will be severely weakened. If all three were fit and firing the blaugranes would be a totally different proposition, particularly in the Clasico against Madrid.
It’s a test of Xavi’s mettle as a coach to see if he can get the best out of his players seemingly when the odds are stacked against them.
If they’re able to emerge from that tough set of fixtures relatively unscathed, it could author how well the rest of the season pans out.