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Xavi recalls four Barcelona stars from injury for managerial debut

Xavi
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Ahead of Xavi’s debut match as the manager, FC Barcelona have announced their squad to face Espanyol.

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Xavi Hernandez has recalled four players from injury ahead of his debut as Barcelona manager.

14 days after replacing Ronald Koeman, Xavi finally gets his first taste of action. The 41-year-old will make his debut in the Barca dugout in a Catalan derby against Espanyol in La Liga. To say it’s a big match is an understatement. Not only does he want local bragging rights, but he must also collect all three points.

Now, as a new era dawns at Camp Nou, Barcelona have announced the 23 players in Xavi’s first squad.

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Four players recalled

Defenders Gerard Pique, Eric Garcia and Sergi Roberto have returned, as well as 19-year-old midfield sensation Nico Gonzalez. The four players recovered from their injuries during the international break.

Barca B forwards Ez Abde (19) and Ilias Akhomach (17) are also in the 23-man squad.

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Who is out for the match?

The big news coming out of Barcelona on Friday night was Pedri’s injury relapse. The 18-year-old could face another month out of action, meaning he may not play again until 2022.

Below is the full list of first-team stars missing:

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PlayerReason
PedriThigh
Ansu FatiHamstring
Sergiño DestBack
Ousmane DembeleHamstring
Martin BraithwaiteKnee
Sergio AgueroHeart
Dani AlvesIneligible

Predicted Line-Up (4-4-3)

For match details of the Catalan derby between Barcelona and Espanyol, including betting tips, check out the preview here.