Ronald Koeman will be without three key players ahead of Barcelona's highly anticipated clash against Real Madrid on Sunday. The Dutch coach will be under huge pressure to turn the club's fortunes around, and a win against their arch rivals is likely to go a long way in securing his immediate future at the helm.
Barcelona will be missing Pedri, Ousmane Dembele and Ronald Araujo, according to Marca, who are all out with injuries. Koeman was hoping to have Pedri back for El Clasico after he missed their game against Valencia and is also expected to sit out their Champions League clash against Dynamo Kiev.
The Spain international suffered a thigh injury ahead of the recent international break. He made it clear that the injury was not a result of his hectic match schedule during the previous campaign that saw him play over 55 games for club and country.
Dembele, on the other hand, is yet to make an appearance this season after sustaining a knee injury during France's European Championship campaign in the summer. The speedy winger has returned to training, but the club's medical staff fear a relapse if they rush the Frenchman owing to his lengthy injury record since joining Barcelona.
Meanwhile, Araujo, the third injured player to miss out, was a casualty of the latest international break. The central defender picked up the injury while playing for Uruguay in their World Cup qualifiers.
The versatile defender is said to be training alone for the moment, with the club's medical staff worried about Araujo's injury worsening if he trains with the rest of the squad. This is his third muscular injury since making his first-team debut, and the club are hoping the solo training stint will help in preventing a relapse.
Amidst all the injury chaos, one player Koeman will be glad to have will be Sergio Aguero, who made his debut for the club during their 3-1 win over Valencia. The Argentine international missed the start of the season with a calf injury, but could be ready to start when Real visit the Camp Nou on Oct. 24.