Barcelona veteran can start the next game after 2 months’ absence


HAMBURG, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 07: Marc-Andre ter Stegen of FC Barcelona acknowledges the fans following the team's defeat during the UEFA Champions League match between FC Shakhtar Donetsk and FC Barcelona at Volksparkstadion on November 07, 2023 in Hamburg, Germany.
Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

The last month was a particularly difficult period of time for Xavi and FC Barcelona. The Catalans missed out on two pieces of silverware in January, and Xavi had to announce his departure at the end of the season after a string of unconvincing results.

The Barcelona head coach was unfortunate as he had to play throughout the season with a squad that was already short, to begin with, but which was further depleted by the plague of unending injury problems.

However, Xavi has gotten some good news on the injury front in the last few weeks. Inigo Martinez returned to availability for the match against Deportivo Alaves, and Raphinha is also expected to be fully recovered by the time Barcelona face Granada this Sunday.

In addition to Raphinha, this match will also see another very familiar face return to action, i.e., the goalkeeper Marc Andre Ter Stegen. As Xavi had confirmed recently, the German has already started training with the group and will return for this match.

In fact, the journalist Adria Albets (h/t Barca Buzz) claims that the goalkeeper has recovered perfectly well from his back issues after his surgery, and he is expected to start the upcoming La Liga game against Granada.

This will be a very welcome development for Xavi, as the team has dearly missed the German for the last two and a half months. Inaki Pena, while impressive in some matches, left a lot to be desired in other games, particularly the one against Villarreal in which he conceded five goals.

Ter Stegen will not only provide the team with significantly increased surety between the sticks, but will also be key in organizing the defense as he is one of the most experienced players in the team, and is also one of the captains.

Thus, Ter Stegen’s return can be a turning point for the Barcelona defense, which is also going to see several other changes in its structure in the upcoming weeks.

Ahmad Sarmad Ansari
Ahmad Sarmad Ansari
Ahmad Sarmad Ansari has been covering Spanish football as a writer for Barca News Network for the last one and a half year and as an amateur football fanatic for more than 10 years. He mainly covers on and off-field happenings taking place at Barcelona including transfer news, administrative changes, match reports, and any other eventful news coming out of the club.

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