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Barcelona won’t risk Gerard Pique against Real Valladolid - report

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The defender isn’t quite ready to return

FC Barcelona v Sevilla - Spanish Copa del Rey Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

Gerard Pique has been back in training with Barcelona this week but isn’t expected to feature against Real Valladolid on Monday night in La Liga.

The 34-year-old is on his way back from knee trouble but coach Ronald Koeman won’t take any risks with him because he wants Pique fit for El Clasico, according to Mundo Deportivo.

Pique’s already admitted this week that he’s keen to make his comeback against Los Blancos in a game which could have an impact on where the title ends up at the end of the season.

He told TV3: “The objective is to play against Real Madrid and I want to be involved as soon as possible. I’m focused on this.”

Koeman does still have plenty of options in defense for Monday’s match. Ronald Araujo is fit and available along with Clement Lenglet, Samuel Umtiti, Oscar Mingueza, and also Frenkie de Jong.

Barca’s backline had been in good shape before the international break. The Catalan giants have conceded just three goals in their last seven games in all competitions and two of those were penalties.