Barcelona defender set to be fit for El Clasico
According to AS, Barcelona defender Jules Kounde will be eligible for the Blaugrana’s crucial El Clasico clash with archrivals Real Madrid on October 16.
Kounde was sent home from international duty with France after suffering a thigh injury in their UEFA Nations League victory over Austria on September 22.
The center-back had MRI testing to determine the extent of his injury, and a femoral biceps break was ruled out.
The prognosis is three weeks on the sidelines, which means Kounde should be fit to play Real Madrid in the El Clasico.
It is a significant boost for Xavi Hernandez, whose team is expected to compete with Real Madrid for the La Liga title this season.
Barcelona has had an amazing start to the season, sitting second in the table, two points behind Real Madrid.
Xavi’s team has won five of their six league games while conceding just one goal.
Kounde has made five appearances for the Blaugrana after joining from Sevilla in a £45 million deal last summer.
Xavi has primarily played him at right-back, where he has excelled, with Barcelona having the greatest goal difference in the league (17).
All eyes will be on Kounde’s rehabilitation as the El Clasico approaches, with Barcelona aiming to gain one over on their archrivals.
Real Madrid has also had a strong start to the season, winning six of their first six games and sitting atop La Liga with 18 points.
Barcelona is concerned about Ronald Araujo’s fitness before of their match against Real Madrid.
Araujo, another defender who suffered an injury while on international service, suffered a muscular injury in Uruguay’s 1-0 loss to Iran on September 23.
Barcelona has issued the following statement regarding his situation (through the club’s official website):
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“First team member Ronald Araujo has an avulsion of the adductor longus tendon in his right thigh, according to tests performed this morning, September 24. He is no longer available, and his evolution will indicate this.”
Araujo has had a similarly great start to the season, with Xavi using him at both right-back and center-back.
He has made seven appearances for Barcelona but is set to miss time with no clear comeback date in sight.