Barcelona have suffered this season and Sergi Roberto is the latest problem. The midfielder was playing well and confident but went off injured against BATE Borisov in the Champions League. Unless Andres Iniesta returns, this weekend Luis Enrique will have to select Javier Mascherano and Sergio Busquets in the middle, along with Ivan Rakitic. The only other option is Gumbau as an interior, so Busquets can go abck to the pivot role – or even Munir as an interior, where he has featured occasionally for Barcelona B.
Plague of injuries
There have been 14 injuries this season, 10 of which are muscle problems, and not even a third of the campaign has passed. The ones which were impact or illness have been Busquets’ bruised ankle against Athletic, ruptured ligaments for Messi and Rafinha, and mumps for Neymar.
The others, all muscular. Starting with Adriano’s pubis, the breaks in Bravo and Vermaelen’s soleus’, the hamstring of Douglas and Iniesta, Alba’s neck and thigh problems, Dani Alves’ adductor trouble and the double injury to Sergi Roberto, first with a sore hamstring and now the pubis.
A string of problems that show that the team is not as prepared as last season. The tour is taking its toll and team is not as physically strong as before.
Those suffering the most are midfielders because they have the most wear and tear. Luis Enrique’s system requires them to travel many kilometers, and their muscles suffer. Barcelona play with three players high up the pitch, so those in the middle have more running to do. This work leads to injuries that leave the team at risk.