Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman offered an update on the team’s injury situation after seeing his team beat Getafe 5-2 in La Liga at the Camp Nou on Thursday night.
The Catalan giants were without attackers Ousmane Dembele and Martin Braithwaite for the clash but Koeman had good news on the Frenchman, according to Samuel Marsden at ESPN.
The Dutch boss said Dembele “maybe” back for Sunday’s crunch game against Villarreal but admitted the game will come too soon for Braithwaite who picked up a sprained ankle earlier this week in training.
Dembele is currently struggling with a pelvic injury but was a surprise absentee when Koeman named his squad for Thursday’s match against Getafe. The Frenchman had been on a good injury-free run this season, making 40 appearances in all competitions for the Catalan giants.
Follow the Heavy on Barcelona Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!
Dembele Trained on Friday
The chances of Dembele being in the squad for the trip to Villarreal look to have increased as the forward took part in a training session on Friday, according to Javier Miguel at AS.
The France international “only did part” of the session and Koeman will check on him again on Saturday when the team train again. Back-up goalkeeper Neto was also back and could be in line to make his return to the squad.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) April 23, 2021
Another player who Koeman will want to keep an eye on is Gerard Pique. The center-back is only just back from knee trouble but was replaced at half-time of Thursday’s win over Getafe.
According to Miguel, the 34-year-old came off with some “discomfort” and made “obvious gestures of pain” during the game. If Pique isn’t ready for Sunday’s trip he could be replaced in the starting lineup by Ronald Araujo.
Barca Attack Firing
Koeman will obviously want to have Dembele and Braithwaite available as soon a possible to increasing his attacking options, but there’s no doubt the team is not lacking firepower currently.
Barca is comfortably the top-scoring team in La Liga and has managed 74 goals in just 31 games in 2020-21. Koeman’s men have hit nine in their last two matches alone in all competitions with captain Lionel Messi in top form.
The Argentine scored twice against Getafe and was close to a hat-trick. The Barca captain smashed a brilliant effort against the crossbar in the opening stages and handed penalty-taking duties over to Antoine Griezmann in stoppage time.
Yet Messi’s two goals still ensured he reached another jaw-dropping landmark on Thursday,
*jaw hits the floor*
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) April 22, 2021
Barcelona and Messi will come up against another prolific frontman on Sunday when they face Villarreal and Gerard Moreno. The 29-year-old is in the midst of a stunning season and has 20 goals and 5 assists in 27 outings for the Yellow Submarine.
Koeman’s men can’t afford to drop points if they are to maintain their title charge on another intriguing weekend in the Spanish top flight. A depleted Real Madrid side take on Real Betis, while leaders Atletico Madrid face Athletic before Barcelona and Villarreal kick-off at the Estadio de la Cerámica.
READ NEXT: Koeman Has Touchline Meltdown At Barcelona Defender [WATCH]