Barcelona suffer major injury blow ahead of Man Utd clash with midfielder a doubt for Europa League tie
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Barcelona have suffered another injury blow ahead of the first leg of their Europa League play-off round tie against Manchester United, which takes place next week.
Xavi's side will face off against United across two legs, with the ties scheduled to take place on February 16 and 23.
The winner of the play-off round will progress to the last 16 stage, and could face the likes of Arsenal, Real Sociedad or Feyenoord.
Both sides have injury concerns going into the match, although Diogo Dalot returned to the United bench on Saturday after recovering from an injury he suffered in December.
But Anthony Martial and Scott McTominay are doubts, whilst Donny van de Beek and Christian Eriksen are definitely out of both legs due to long-term injuries.
Barcelona could be without forward Ousmane Dembele, who suffered during a La Liga fixture against Girona on January 28. Spanish journalist Fernando Polo claimed that he would be out for five to six weeks, thus ruling him out of at least one of the fixtures against United, although Xavi has refused to put a timeframe on his recovery.
Now, the Spanish giants have been dealt a second injury blow.
Barcelona star could miss Man Utd clash
Veteran midfielder Sergio Busquets is a doubt for the first leg of the United tie after spraining his ankle during Sunday's 3-0 win over Sevilla in La Liga.
The Spaniard had to be substituted in the first half due to the injury, and was replaced by Franck Kessie. The former AC Milan star made good of his opportunity, providing an exquisite assist for Jordi Alba to open the scoring.
And the Ivorian could be Busquets' replacement next Thursday if necessary, having struggled for game time during his first season at the Camp Nou.
In an official club statement confirming the injury, Barcelona wrote: "Tests on Monday morning have revealed that first team captain Sergio Busquets has sprained the external lateral ligament of his left ankle. He will be unavailable for selection until he recovers.
"Following a clash with [Sevilla striker Youssef] En-Nesyri in the seventh minute of the game with Sevilla on Sunday at Spotify Camp Nou, the midfielder had to make an early exit from the proceedings."
The 34-year-old has made 27 appearances for Barca this term - only five players have made more - and his absence may be keenly felt should he not be available to take on Erik ten Hag's side.