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Koeman releases injury updates on 2 Barcelona defenders

Gerard Pique, FC Barcelona
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The FC Barcelona manager has offered an update on two key defenders ahead of the Champions League tie.

Ronald Araujo is out of Barcelona’s clash with Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday, says manager Ronald Koeman, who intends to make a last-minute decision on Gerard Pique’s participation.

The injury-stricken Barcelona could be without as many as six players for the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie. Philippe Coutinho, Martin Braithwaite, Ansu Fati, and Sergi Roberto are the other casualties.

But signs of Pique making his first appearance since November have grown more hopeful. The 34-year-old completed a full training session on Sunday with the team and was again in training on Monday morning.

“He’s okay,” Koeman said on Pique during his pre-match conference on Monday afternoon.

“He has been with the group for four or five days. The feelings are good and I have one more day to decide [if he’ll take part].”

Another player who did feature in Koeman’s morning session was Braithwaite. The Dane completed the full session, suggesting he could return after missing the last two games against Sevilla and Alaves through a hamstring injury.

But Araujo again failed to make an appearance in training on Monday, meaning the Uruguayan hasn’t recovered from his ankle injury in time.

“Araujo hasn’t trained and doesn’t make it to tomorrow’s match,” confirmed Koeman. “Everyone on the list can play.”

Clement Lenglet and Samuel Umtiti, who has made several errors recently, could start in central defense as Koeman’s alternatives.

“They have played good games and they’ve made their mistakes, but that’s part of football,” said the Blaugrana boss.

“I have no doubts about their ability against PSG. It will be a tactical game.”