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Barcelona expected to be without Pedri and Ousmane Dembele for Espanyol clash

The duo aren’t quite ready to return

Atletico de Madrid v FC Barcelona - La Liga Santander Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Xavi will likely have to cope without Pedri and Ousmane Dembele for his first game in charge of Barcelona against Espanyol on Saturday at the Camp Nou.

Pedri had been expected back in time for the match but it seems Barca will be careful with the midfielder with Xavi wanting to avoid any “unnecessary relapses,” according to Sport.

Dembele is also close to a return but Barca won’t rush the Frenchman back either, although it’s thought the two players could have some minutes in midweek against Benfica.

Xavi will also have to cope without Ansu Fati, Martin Braithwaite, and Sergi Aguero for the derby with all three players still sidelined.

The injury situation means the new coach has real problems in attack which could offer a chance for one of the club’s youngsters to stake a claim.

Yusuf Demir seems to have lost his way after a bright start but is an option, while 19-year-old Ez Abde could be a surprise inclusion in Xavi’s starting XI.

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