Barcelona midfielder Sergi Roberto is expected to miss the Copa del Rey clash against city rivals Espanyol on 6 January after suffering a hamstring injury. Roberto, 23, picked up the injury during Barca's goalless draw with Espanyol on 3 January.

Catalan daily Sport said the central midfielder had been assessed by the club's medical staff and was confirmed to have suffered a muscle injury in his right leg. Roberto came on for Ivan Rakitic in the 71st minute of the Catalan derby at the Cornella-El Prat, where Barcelona were held to a third draw in four league games.

The result left the defending Spanish champions two points adrift of Atletico Madrid at the top of the La Liga table, although the Catalan giants have a game in hand.

Barca must face Constantin Galca's side twice more over the next 10 days in the Copa del Rey round of 16.

'Fair result'

Barcelona boss Luis Enrique said the result at the Cornella-El Prat was "fair" and praised Espanyol's performance in the derby.

"[Espanyol] did very well today," Enrique told the club's official website. "I think they played the way we thought they were going to play. It's always tough to face an opponent that plays with such high intensity. They pressured us and made it tough, especially at the beginning of the match. Every time there's a derby, Espanyol bring that kind of intensity."

Ivan Rakitic
Barcelona have drawn three of their last four La Liga games Getty Images

Barca defender Gerard Pique concurred with his coach's view and said the poor quality of the pitch was partly to blame for the lack of free-flowing football from the visitors.

"When we play in Cornellà we expect them to be intense and that they'll pressure us and, today, that's what happened," the centre-back stated. The [poor condition of the] pitch did not help on first touches, and that allowed them to pressure us sooner. It was an uncomfortable game. As far as intensity we were fine, but we lacked fluidity with the ball."