A big blow for the Blaugrana on the eve of their CL second leg against Stuttgart.
Midfield maestro Xavi injured his calf muscle during training and will be out for 2 weeks.
With the match delicately poised at 1-1 and the Sevilla defeat putting pressure on them as the only flag bearer of La Liga. This CL campaign has seen the demise of four of the five past champions. Xavi's absence could hurt them as he has been their best ball distributor.
Barca has problems of continuity. One day sublime, the next, desultory. They are also in danger of becoming a one trick pony with their fortunes centered around Messi. Guardiola will see hope in Thierry Henry having a breakout performance against Valencia. Zlatan Ibrahimovic should be back providing a big target for Barca's aerial game.
Seydou Keita just received his medical clearance and should be the first choice to pair up with Busquets. Carlos Puyol should be back to bolster the defence.
Barca have to watch out for an old Arsenal hand in Aliksiandr Hleb who set up Cacau's goal. This will be the Stuttgart game plan with criss crossing wing play and a rain of crosses into the box to catch out some of the slower members of the Barca defense.
All in all, a promise of a fascinating match at the Camp Nou with the German team having a good chance as any in this CL season of David upsetting Goliath.