FC Barcelona

Gerard Pique to face late fitness test ahead of Frankfurt second leg

Tom Gott
Pique is out injured
Pique is out injured / Alex Grimm/GettyImages
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Barcelona manager Xavi has confirmed centre-back Gerard Pique will miss Sunday's trip to Levante but will be given the chance to prove his fitness before Eintracht Frankfurt come to town on Thursday.

Pique injured his groin in their Europa League quarter-final first leg against Frankfurt - a 1-1 draw - and did not train with the rest of the team on Saturday before the Levante game.

Ahead of that match, Xavi revealed Pique has not actually picked up a new injury but has in fact aggravated a problem that he has been playing through all season.

"He doesn't have an injury, per se," Xavi said. "He's been in pain for months. The other day he didn't feel well. He's out [against Levante] and we'll see on Thursday.

"He's making a titanic effort."

Barcelona will also be without Memphis Depay and Sergino Dest against Levante, but Xavi confirmed that neither have been ruled out for the Frankfurt game just yet.

"They're doing alright," the boss said. "We're trying to get them ready for Thursday.

"We don't want them to relapse. They're training separately from the group and when they join in, we rely on them to tell us how they feel. They're doing full sessions but sometimes we have to stop them."

Luuk de Jong is back available after overcoming Covid-19, while Ansu Fati could be a week away from returning to full training.

"All our injured players need care and attention," Xavi concluded. "In [Fati]'s case, it's different. We are very attentive to him.

"I have been watching his training sessions after ours. He needs three or four more and sooner rather than later, he will be back with us."

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