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Fabregas, Pique fit for Granada showdown

Barcelona have been boosted by the news Cesc Fabregas and Gerard Pique are fit for their Liga encounter with Granada on Saturday.

The Spanish champions have had to deal with a growing injury list, with Lionel Messi (hamstring), Victor Valdes (calf), Jordi Alba and Daniel Alves (both hamstring) all unavailable.

Head coach Gerardo Martino will also be without midfielders Xavi (hamstring) and Cristian Tello (ankle) for the weekend fixture at Camp Nou after the duo failed to recover in time to feature.

But Martino has now received better news as Pique and Fabregas – who were struggling with groin and ankle injuries respectively – are fit enough to be included.

Despite their injury setbacks, Martino insists his side can have no excuses for poor performances, and feels the squad is good enough to cope with absences.

“So far we have had three serious ones (muscle injuries) – Alba, Valdes and Leo (Messi),” he said. “At this moment it doesn’t worry us.

“We miss the best player in the world and the best goalkeeper in the world, but we have great players to replace them.

“I don’t think we should be weaker because of the many injuries. Situations like these will make us stronger.

“We have a long list of injuries but we have the squad to assemble a good team capable of making a good game and winning well. We must never make excuses.”

The Catalan giants resume domestic duty after the international break looking to extend their unbeaten start to the season.

Martino’s charges have amassed 37 points from a possible 39 so far, and lead second-placed Atletico Madrid by three points.

Fri 22 November, 2013
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