Barcelona’s defensive problems have increased with Jeremy Mathieu ruled out for three weeks because of a calf injury.
The France international, who will turn 33 on Saturday, suffered the injury during Barca’s 1-0 Supercopa de Catalunya defeat at the hands of Espanyol on Tuesday night.
Test conducted by the medical services on Wednesday morning have revealed that Jeremy Mathieu has injured the soleus in his right leg, which means he is going to be sidelined for an estimated three weeks.
Mathieu, who joined the reigning La Liga champions from Valencia for 20 million euros in summer 2014, started the game because of injuries which have already ruled out Gerard Pique and Jordi Alba, but limped off on 54 minutes.
The Catalans released a short statement on their website on Wednesday to confirm the player is now facing a stint on the sidelines.
It read: “Test conducted by the medical services on Wednesday morning have revealed that Jeremy Mathieu has injured the soleus in his right leg, which means he is going to be sidelined for an estimated three weeks.”
Mathieu, who has made six appearances in all competitions and scored one goal so far this term, will miss Saturday’s La Liga visit of Granada, while he was already suspended for the Champions League trip to Manchester City next week having been sent off for two bookable offences in the 4-0 Group C win against Pep Guardiola’s side at the Camp Nou last Wednesday.
He will also definitely miss the trip to second-placed Sevilla the following weekend as Barca boss Luis Enrique will have Javier Mascherano and Samuel Umtiti as his only fit central defenders in the coming weeks.
Despite their defensive issues, Barca are 13/10 to win at Manchester City next Tuesday, while the hosts are 2/1 to gain revenge for their thumping in Spain by securing three Champions League group points and the draw is 12/5.