Sergi Roberto could miss Barcelona's upcoming game against Real Madrid on Saturday (29 July) after being forced off during Thursday's 1-0 victory over Manchester United. Meanwhile, manager Ernesto Valverde has suggested that he will deploy a strong line-up in the 'friendly' El Clasico after making the most of his squad in the first two matches of the pre-season against Juventus and United.
Spanish international Sergi Roberto came on in the second half of the victory over Jose Mourinho's side to replace Sergio Busquets but had to leave the pitch with five minutes to go due to an injury problem.
Valverde confirmed the blow after the game, with the versatile midfielder now facing a fitness race before the clash against Real Madrid.
"Sergi Roberto ended the game with a little issue in the adductor that we will need to assess," Valverde confirmed in the press conference following the 1-0 victory over United.
The Spanish international played as a right-back during the last campaign following the departure of Dani Alves to Juventus. However, he has been tipped to return to his original role in the middle of the park after Barcelona signed Nelson Semedo from Benfica to cover the right-flank of the defence.
Valverde deployed the Spaniard as the holding midfielder against United but the boss said that he plans to play Sergi Roberto in a more offensive role this season.
"I think [his best position] is in the midfield [ahead of the holding midfielder] but I wanted to try him there in a big game like this. I think he was good," the Barcelona manager said.
The La Liga giants have enjoyed an inspiring start to the life under Luis Enrique's replacement, beating Juventus and United in their first two friendlies of the International Champions Cup played in the United States. However, the Catalans face an even bigger challenge on Saturday as they will face Real Madrid in Miami.
Valverde has used the first two friendlies to get to know his new players, making plenty of substitutions in both games. However, he suggested that he won't replicate the same formula against Real Madrid.
"It's normal to change a lot of players in the first games of the pre-season. We have to regulate our efforts and we do not want to take any risk of injuries," he said. "[But] It's true that against Real Madrid it will be our third game and maybe some players could play more than 45 minutes."
The coming El Clasico is only a friendly but will serve as a warm up for both La Liga giants ahead of the two-legged Spanish Super Cup to be play on 13 and 16 August.