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When will Dembele and Kounde return to Barcelona?

The duo made it to the World Cup final with France

France v Poland: Round of 16 - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Photo by Youssef Loulidi/Fantasista/Getty Images

Barcelona are preparing for their first post-World Cup game against Espanyol on New Year’s Eve.

Xavi has his full squad of players available, apart from Ousmane Dembele and Jules Kounde who reached the World Cup final with France.

The duo are due to return until December 28, although they could choose to come back earlier, giving them little time to prepare for the game, according to AS.

Barcelona won’t train on the 29th either, meaning the two players will only have time for one group session before the game at the Camp Nou.

Xavi is still expected to include both players in his matchday squad, but it remains to be seen how much playing time either man will have.

Jules Kounde is perhaps the more likely to start, given concerns over Ronald Araujo’s fitness, either at center-back or at right-back.

Dembele could feature from the bench with Raphinha expected to start in his place on the right start of the attack.

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