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Xavi welcomes back two Barcelona stars from injury for crucial Champions League clash

Ousmane Dembele
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Ahead of a crucial Champions League match against Benfica, Barcelona have welcomed back two key men to the fold.

Ousmane Dembele and Sergino Dest have been cleared to play Benfica in the Champions League.

After kick-starting the Xavi-era on a winning note against Espanyol at the weekend, Barcelona are at home again on Tuesday as Benfica pay them a visit for a crucial Group E clash.

The Blaugrana have a two-point advantage over their Portuguese opponents in the group table. With Bayern Munich almost out of reach at the top, second place is their best hope of reaching the knockouts. Therefore, they must avoid defeat at the very least to Benfica at all costs.

Naturally, the returns of Dembele and Dest should give Xavi’s men a timely boost.

Why were they missing?

Dembele, in particular, has been missed. The Frenchman has suffered another injury-hit campaign at Camp Nou, having made just one appearance in all competitions. He has spent the last three weeks recovering from a hamstring problem.

Given the fact Dembele fell injured against Dynamo Kyiv this month, Xavi may play it safe with the 24-year-old winger.

As for Dest, the full-back has missed Barcelona’s last two La Liga games against Celta Vigo and Espanyol due to lower back pain.

Full 22-man Barcelona squad

For match details and betting tips of the Champions League clash between Barcelona and Benfica, check out the link here.