Sat 30 April 2022 | 14:04

Ansu Fati set to return for Barcelona against Mallorca

Ansu Fati has been out of play with a hamstring strain since January, but he will comeback for Barcelona on Sunday.

After suffering a hamstring injury, Ansu Fati will play for the Catalans for the first time in three months against Real Mallorca, according to Blaugrana boss Xavi. 

For the second time in club history,


has lost three consecutive home fixtures in all competitions, the last occasion being under Louis van Gaal in 1997-98 and 1998-99. 

Xavi's side is in the third position in


, 15 points below toppers Real Madrid, after losing to Rayo Vallecano, who became the first promoted side to accomplish a LaLiga double win over Barca since Salamanca in 1997-98.

While Madrid just needs a point against Espanyol on Saturday to clinch the championship, the arrival of Fati against Mallorca on Sunday would give the Catalan giants a lift. 

The 19-year-old has had an injury-plagued season, having last played in January – and not at all in LaLiga since November – with only five league outings and 213 minutes of play. 

"We will give the squad list and Ansu will be there," Xavi told reporters at a pre-match news conference. 

"He feels very comfortable and is making efforts to return. He will play at least a few minutes. He is happy, he is smiling, a special player.

"We take great care of him, we know he is a special player. For now the feelings are very good, peaks of speed, physically very good."

Fati will return to a Barcelona team that has scored with only one of their previous 46 shots in LaLiga, and one of their last 57 at Camp Nou. 

Xavi, on the other hand, stresses that his team must respond collectively rather than depending on the teenager to make things happen when he comes on.

"The focus has to be on the team. I understand football as a collective game. If it's only one player, when he fails the team doesn't shoot," he added.

"Everyone has to shoot. Ansu is a different player, he has to be very important from now on.

"But there is no specific focus on him or anyone, I have never understood it that way."

Barca will be without their playmaker


, who is still recovering from a hamstring strain he suffered against

Eintracht Frankfurt

earlier this month. 

The Blaugrana have won eight of Pedri's ten LaLiga starts, compared to only ten triumphs in 23 league matches this season without the Spain international in the starting lineup. 

Xavi gave a favorable report on Pedri, indicating that he may be without

Gerard Pique

against Mallorca. 

"Pedri is training separately and has a good feeling," he added. "Pique has a tendon problem. We'll see tomorrow, today he was more sore.

"Nico [Gonzalez] broke his finger in a collision with Ansu. A shame because we don't have plenty of midfielders, but that's football."

The out-of-favor

Frenkie de Jong

, who appeared disgruntled following his replacement in Barcelona's last game, is one midfielder who may make an impact.

"We had a very good face-to-face talk," Xavi said of De Jong. 

"It's obvious that this change frustrated him, but I have to look out for the team. He's had excellent games, but he has to be constant.

"He's capable and is here to make a difference. He's a very important player for the present and for the future".


source: SportMob

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