FC Barcelona are gearing up to face their biggest rivals, Real Madrid, in the semi-finals of the Supercopa de Espana this week. However, the Blaugrana are flying to the venue in Saudi Arabia on Monday with a depleted squad.

Any club always wants all of their best players available to face a club like league leaders Real Madrid. However, Barcelona won't have both their young starlet Pedri and new signing Ferran Torres because both are still positive for Covid-19 after the latest round of testing.

The two players are expected to play important roles in Xavi Hernandez's squad moving forward, but that will have to wait as they both recover from their respective Covid-19 infections. The big "El Clasico" will be taking place on Wednesday, January 12, and Barcelona fans will be eager to put one over their rivals after having lost the past four encounters.

On top of the Covid-19 situation, Torres would not have been able to play anyway, owing to the fact that he has not yet been registered by the club. He was brought in from Manchester City in December, but the club has not been able to fit him within the salary cap. they will need to offload players to balance the wage books in the coming weeks if they want to accommodate the newcomer and any other future signings.

Meanwhile, Eric Garcia has been ruled out for about five weeks, which gives Xavi more headaches. However, Ronald Araujo is flying with the squad and despite having a splint in his hand, he is expected to be fit enough to play.

Frenkie de Jong also picked up a knock in their recent Copa del Rey fixture, but it appears to be minor as he is also joining his teammates on the trip.

Meanwhile, Real Madrid had also been suffering from a Covid-19 outbreak within the squad, but are happy to welcome back key players like Vinicius Jr., Luka Modric and Thibaut Courtois among others.

Ferran Torres
Ferran Torres is still positive for Covid-19 Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images