The Catalan giants suffered a huge collapse in the Champions, where they were kicked out when suffering an injury plague that affected their defensive line.
It seems destiny may be challenging Barcelona again in Europe. After being kicked out of the Champions League in the group stage by Bayern Munich and Inter Milan, Xavi Hernández’s men have bounced back in an impressive way, winning the Spanish Super Cup, qualifying for the Copa del Rey semifinals and commanding the LaLiga standings eight points clear of Real Madrid.
However, Barcelona, who are on a 15-game unbeaten streak, are facing now an opponent that has already defeated them this season and threatens to do it again in Europe, the injuries.
Back then, Barcelona went from being a healthy squad to having seven injured players in just 13 days when the Catalans were playing do-or-die games against Inter and Bayern.
Key players to miss the game vs. United
One week ago, Ousmane Dembélé, arguably the most in-form player of the squad, the French international was forced off in the 24th minute of Barcelona’s 1-0 LaLiga win against Girona with a thigh issue.
The winger will be out of action for around three-four weeks, which is a setback for the team’s future games, but now Xavi Hernández has to deal with another headache, as captain Sergio Busquets got injured during the LaLiga clash vs. Sevilla and will be out two to three weeks.
The former Spain international won’t be able to play at Villarreal next weekend, and he will also miss the games against Manchester United and Cádiz at home.
If the veteran midfielder is not fully fit in time, he could also miss the return leg against The Red Devils and the game against Almeria.
With both Busquets and Dembélé out of action, Xavi will hope no more injuries affect his squad and he will have to decide whether he trusts Franck Kessié as a fourth midfielder together with Frenkie de Jong, Pedri, and Gavi or implements a 4-3-3 formation.