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Barcelona has confirmed that Robert Lewandowski will not play in Thursday’s Copa del Rey match against Real Madrid due to a hamstring injury.
The 34-year-old scored 25 goals in 31 appearances in all competitions in his first season with the Catalan giants following his summer transfer from Bayern Munich.
Lewandowski Out of Crucial Clash with Hamstring Injury
Lewandowski had hoped to add to his goal total on Sunday, but he suffered a hamstring injury in Almeria’s 1-0 La Liga road loss.
Since confirming the striker’s injury on their official website, Barcelona have not provided a timetable for his return to play.
A statement read: “Robert Lewandowski has strained the biceps femoris in his left hamstring. The Polish striker is unavailable until the problem clears up.”
The news of Lewandowski’s injury is devastating for head coach Xavi, who is already without Ousmane Dembele, Pedri, and Ansu Fati ahead of Thursday’s match against Real Madrid.
Dembele has not played for Barcelona since sustaining a thigh injury against Girona at the end of January, while Pedri injured his hamstring in the first leg of their Europa League playoff against Manchester United.
Fati suffered a knee injury in training ahead to Sunday’s loss at Almeria, and there is currently no timetable for his return to the starting lineup.
Lewandowski’s absence limits Barca’s offensive options, with Ferran Torres the most likely candidate to start as the center striker against Los Blancos.
Xavi’s Honest Review of Barca’s Blundering Form
The Catalan giants are looking to avoid a third consecutive loss when they face Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu in the first leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final. Xavi is hoping to see big changes from his side following Sunday’s 2-0 loss to Almeria.
That game saw a star-studded Barca lineup struggle against their relegation threatened rivals. Almeria’s star Malian attacker Bilal Toure would score the only goal of the game.
“This was our worst match of the season,” Xavi told reporters after the lost to Almeria. “It was too difficult. We weren’t there. We weren’t inside the match. There are no excuses today. We didn’t deserve to win and we have to take responsibility. We noticed fatigue today. That’s why we did so many rotations. The players were tired and it was clear.
“We want to say sorry to the fans. What we saw today is inexcusable. I don’t understand it. I am the person most responsible. We failed. Luckily we have a cushion of points in La Liga. I always said that it was going to be extremely difficult to win it.
“We lacked passion in the first half. In the second half, we tried everything… 3-4-3, [Ronald] Araujo as a striker… Nothing. It wasn’t meant to be. It was not enough. There’s nothing else to do but self-criticism. We lacked the intensity of Almeria to win the match.
Barca, who currently sit seven points clear of rivals Real Madrid at the top of La Liga, could move one step closer to lifting their first Copa del Rey in five years with a El Clasico victory over Real in the capital.