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Eric Garcia and Jules Kounde forced off injured for Barcelona against Valencia

More problems for Xavi

Valencia v FC Barcelona - La Liga Santander Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

Barcelona’s defensive injury problems continued on Saturday with Eric Garcia and Jules Kounde forced off injured against Valencia.

The first substitution came as something of a surprise as Garcia did not look to be injured but went off minutes before half-time and was replaced by Marcos Alonso.

Xavi did have Gerard Pique available but opted to go with Alonso at center-back alongside Jules Kounde instead.

Garcia went straight to the bench and was seen in discussions with the medical staff. Barcelona later confirmed he has suffered a groin injury.

It’s not clear yet how serious the problem is but Garcia will naturally be concerned to pick up a problem this close to the World Cup which starts next month in Qatar.

Barca then saw Kounde depart in the second half with what looked like a hamstring problem which meant that Pique did finally arrive, rather hastily, and without time to warm up.

The duo join Ronald Araujo and Andreas Christensen on the sidelines which is a real blow to Xavi, although the Dane is thought to be close to a return to fitness.

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