"It surprised me" -- Xavi gives clues about Barça's line-up for the clásico

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The Barcelona coach welcomed back a host of injured players to training on Friday

The clásico is just around the corner and there are more doubts than ever as to which players Xavi Hernández will select for the starting line-up against Real Madrid. 

In response to questions from the press about his choice, the coach thanked the injured players for their efforts to test themselves before the big game against Carlo Ancelotti's side.

After Raphinha returned to training on Thursday, Robert Lewandowski, Frenkie de Jong, Jules Kounde and Pedri all trained on Friday.

"I was also surprised to see them in training: players we had ruled out and who want to be there [vs. Madrid]," Xavi said. "They all want to play in the clásico. Everyone's feeling very good but we have to wait until [Saturday] for the squad."

The big name, without a doubt, was Lewandowski. The Polish star arrived at the Catalan giants for games like this and despite the fact that he has been out for a month following his ankle injury against Porto, the striker does not want to miss the game. 

"Lewandowski has completed the whole session, he has good feelings, but you will understand that I will not give any more clues," Xavi insisted. Clear and in a bottle. Only a hecatomb would keep Robert out of the starting XI against Real Madrid.


Asked by Sergi de Juan of SPORT in the press conference about the challenge of Oriol Romeu, Xavi has not assured the presence of the midfielder.

In order not to hold his fingers, the coach from Terrassa only remarked on the need to be involved defensively on all lines of the pitch:

"Oriol and all the pivots, midfielders, inside players and even wingers. They all have to be on their toes to help and stop Real Madrid's counter-attacks," he said.

Xavi, however, was more forceful about Frenkie de Jong. In fact, the coach confessed that if the Dutchman assures him that he is at 100%, he will start: "If they are at 100% I'll definitely start them (Lewandowski and De Jong), there's no problem."

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