Barcelona face Liverpool at Anfield in the second leg of their Champions League semi-final tie this week, but Ernesto Valverde has suffered an injury blow.
As noted by the Metro, Ousmane Dembele had been expected to miss out with a hamstring injury after suffering the setback in the 2-0 defeat to Celta Vigo at the weekend.
As confirmed by the club having now announced their travelling squad, the Frenchman has not made the trip to Merseyside and will be a big absence.
Although Barcelona didn’t need his influence in the 3-0 win in the first leg at the Nou Camp last week, Dembele’s pace and movement on the counter-attack could have been an important factor in this clash with Liverpool having to come forward and take the game to their opponents.
However, Valverde will not be able to call upon the 21-year-old, who has bagged 14 goals and nine assists in 42 appearances so far this season and will be anxious over how long his latest injury blow will keep him sidelined for.
Not only do Barcelona have a potential Champions League final to plan for if they make it past Liverpool, they will also face Valencia in the Copa del Rey final on May 25, and so the last thing that Dembele will want is to be ruled out of two huge encounters with the treble dream still alive for the Catalan giants.
As seen in the tweets below, many Barcelona fans were left to bemoan his latest injury setback, as they are seemingly fully aware of how big of an influence he could have potentially had in midweek.
Instead, Valverde will perhaps go with the same attacking trident that started in the first leg with Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi and Philippe Coutinho in contention.
Nevertheless, Malcom and Kevin-Prince Boateng are also included in the squad, and so Valverde does still have options at his disposal as he hopes to lead his side to the Final and protect what is a strong advantage.
? Tuesday, 07/05
? 9pm CEST
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) May 5, 2019
I feel bad for dembele
— yarinS (@sultanyarin2015) May 5, 2019
— Adrian Vevatne (@AdrianVevatne) May 5, 2019
— Ammi ?? (@ammi95) May 5, 2019
— Gio (@LimaGiovannao) May 5, 2019
Okay so Dembele had a major hamstring injury. It’s gonna be a blow for us as we needed more pace for counter attacks this time. I hope Coutinho silences furious Liverpool fans in Anfield.
My prediction : Liverpool 1 – Barcelona 2.
— Pranav (@pranavns415) May 5, 2019
— Abdurraheem (@abdurrr001) May 5, 2019
— ??Saq Madiq????? (@mehoaba) May 5, 2019
— ?SMEME? (@EnjoyRiquiPuig) May 5, 2019