Friday, November 24, 2017

Iniesta returns to Barca squad for Sevilla clash

SoccerNews in La Liga 3 Nov 2017

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Andres Iniesta has been named in Barcelona’s squad ahead of Saturday’s home game against Sevilla in LaLiga after missing two matches with a thigh injury.

The Barca captain sat out last week’s 2-0 win at Athletic Bilbao and the Champions League trip to Olympiacos and had remained in doubt for Saturday’s match at Camp Nou.

Iniesta was named in Julen Lopetegui’s Spain squad on Friday for their friendlies with Costa Rica and Russia, sparking suggestions the 33-year-old was ready to return to action.

Ernesto Valverde was keen to impress that even then Iniesta’s fate for the weekend had not been decided, insisting his participation was to depend on Barca’s late training session.

But Barca’s squad announcement confirmed Iniesta will at least be available for selection, though Valverde is ready to give others a chance should he decide to afford the veteran more time to recover.

The coach said in his media conference: “He [Iniesta] and [Lionel] Messi are extraordinary players that if they aren’t playing, you notice.

“If they’re not there you need to replace them somehow. If you can’t do so individually then you must do so tactically.

“Iniesta’s presence or not is always noticed, but we have other players with other characteristics who can do the best they can.

“Iniesta has been brilliant recently, but others are ready to take their chance.”

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