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Dembele expected to miss first leg of Barcelona’s Copa del Rey Clasico

The forward will not be rushed back

Girona FC v FC Barcelona - LaLiga Santander Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Ousmane Dembele is continuing his recovery from a thigh injury but is not now expected to be fit in time to face Real Madrid in the first leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final.

The two teams are due to meet at the Santiago Bernabeu on March 2 but look set to be without the Frenchman once again, according to RAC1.

A more likely return date for Dembele is March 12 against Athletic in La Liga, meaning he would be fit for the return leg against Madrid at the Camp Nou a week later.

Dembele has been a regular starter and an important player for Barcelona this season, but Xavi’s side have been coping well without the forward.

Raphinha has stepped up his performances, scoring three goals and contributing three assists in his last seven matches in all competitions.

There’s also hope that Ferran Torres could be about to hit form. The Spain international impressed against Cadiz last time out and Barca will be hoping he can maintain his improvement.

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