Barcelona will aim to get off the mark in the Champions League at the second attempt when they do battle with Benfica at the Estadio da Luz in Group E on Wednesday.
The Catalan giants opened their European campaign with a dismal 3-0 home defeat to Bayern Munich two weeks ago – a result which some expected to spell the end of Ronald Koeman’s time in the dugout.
However, the Dutchman oversaw a 3-0 success over Levante in Barca’s most recent La Liga fixture, but their injury woes continue to mount ahead of this tie. Here are some of the players that might be missing in action thus piling up pressure on the Catalan giants.
Sergio Aguero continues to recuperate from a serious calf problem and is expected to remain out for at least another month.
Ousmane Dembele is on the road to recovery after undergoing knee surgery and could remain in the treatment room until the beginning of November.
Another long-term absentee in the Barcelona attack, Martin Braithwaite is on the mend following knee surgery and is fighting to make his return to action before 2022.
Jordi Alba sustained a hamstring injury in the opening Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich and may not be able to make his return before the international break.
Pedri was another casualty of the defeat to Bayern as he pulled up with a thigh problem, but recent reports have claimed that the teenage starlet could be passed fit for Wednesday’s game.
Alejandro Balde has been nursing a back problem since being forced off against Granada on September 20, and the trip to Benfica is expected to come too soon for him.
Sergi Roberto was ruled out of the Levante win after coming down with gastroenteritis before the game, and it remains to be seen if the versatile Spaniard will recover in time for Wednesday.