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Xavi named Barcelona squad to face Real Madrid full of surprises

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Xavi Hernández, the head coach of Barcelona, unveiled a surprising addition to the Clásico squad for the upcoming match against Real Madrid.

Alongside the eagerly anticipated returns of Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha, the name that caught everyone off guard was Jules Koundé.

This last-minute inclusion means that the Barcelona manager is set to regain three previously injured players at once.

The return of the French center-back, Koundé, came as a major surprise since he had sustained a sprain in the medial collateral ligament of his left knee on October 9, initially facing an estimated month-long absence.

Consequently, his participation in the Clásico was entirely ruled out. However, it was Koundé himself who requested a fitness test on Friday, much to everyone’s amazement, including that of the manager.

During the press conference, Xavi expressed his sheer astonishment, stating, “Some players were supposed to be out for five weeks, and they’ve recovered in just three.”

Now, the burning question is whether any of these returning players have a genuine chance of making it into the starting eleven.

Primarily, Lewandowski appears to be the most likely candidate, but the decision to hand him a starting role or bring him on later in the game remains uncertain.

It all hinges on the sensations felt by the Polish striker and whether he is deemed a hundred percent match-fit. Nonetheless, the fact that he is arriving so close to the match, aided by an infiltration, raises some doubts about his readiness to start.

Excluded from the squad for this crucial match against Real Madrid are Pedri, Sergi Roberto, and Frenkie de Jong.

The latter, De Jong, made efforts until the last moment, agreeing to an infiltration, but ultimately, it was decided to allow him one more week to recover fully.

Apart from the three recovering players, the other noteworthy addition to the squad is Gavi, who was previously suspended and missed the game against Shakhtar.

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