Barcelona face mounting selection crisis ahead of Mallorca game after Gavi & Dembele test positive for Covid

Gavi, Barcelona 2021-22
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Blaugrana boss Xavi could be force to pick a makeshift XI as Spanish football resumes after the Christmas break

Barcelona face a selection crisis ahead of Sunday’s match against Mallorca after three more players tested positive for Covid-19.

Ousmane Dembele, Samuel Umtiti and Gavi are now isolating at home following a positive PCR test, though Barca say the trio are in good health.

It means Barca boss Xavi could be without up to 14 senior players when La Liga resumes this weekend through a combination of coronavirus, injury and suspension.

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Which Barcelona players are unavailable?

As well as Dembele, Umtiti and Gavi; Jordi Alba, Alejandro Balde, Clement Lenglet and Dani Alves have all tested positive for Covid-19 in the past week and so will be unavailable for the weekend.

Those absentees are compounded by an ever-growing injury list and suspensions, while a number of players are only just returning to fitness and may not be ready for match action.

Sergio Roberto will not return until the spring after having surgery on a thigh problem, Memphis Depay is out with a hamstring injury, full-back Sergino Dest has been struggling with an adductor issue and Sergio Busquets is suspended.

Teenagers Pedri and Antsu Fati could return but both would be way short on match fitness having been sidelined since November with thigh and knee injuries respectively. The same applies to Martin Braithwaite, who had knee surgery in September and was initially not expected to return until mid-January.

Xavi will be wary of throwing them back into competitive action too quickly in case they suffer a recurrence, but he may have no option given the paucity of options elsewhere.

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