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Barcelona boss Xavi addresses the fitness of central defenders Ronald Araujo and Inigo Martinez ahead of Sunday’s clash with Cadiz.

Barcelona boss Xavi has admitted that Ronald Araujo is unlikely to be available for selection until after the September international break.

The Uruguay international played the full 90 minutes against Getafe in La Liga last weekend despite being a doubt due to a problem that he had picked up against Tottenham Hotspur in the Joan Gamper Trophy final.

However, it was confirmed earlier this week that Araujo had suffered a thigh problem, with the centre-back now facing a period on the sidelines.

The 24-year-old is set to miss Barcelona’s next three games against Cadiz, Villarreal and Osasuna ahead of the September international break.

Araujo could be available for selection from the middle of next month, though, with the Catalan outfit potentially having him ready for the league game with Real Betis on September 16.

Barcelona head coach Xavi on July 30, 2023© Reuters

“Ronald got injured in training. We have to prevent and minimise injuries. How long he will be out depends on how he feels. I imagine that after the international break he will be fit,” Xavi told reporters during his press conference on Friday.

“The calendar is very demanding. The other day Pep [Guardiola] was rightly complaining. They don’t think so much about the players but about the business.”

Inigo Martinez, meanwhile, was unable to feature against Athletic last weekend due to a troublesome foot problem, but Xavi has provided a positive update on the summer arrival’s fitness, in addition to discussing the potential registrations of Marcos Alonso and Inaki Pena.

“Inigo will be with the group next week. We’re keeping an eye on the registrations, we’re optimistic. We’ll see if we can register Marcos and Inaki,” he said.

New FC Barcelona player Inigo Martinez poses for a picture during his presentation on July 13, 2023© Reuters

Barcelona were held to a goalless draw by Getafe in their season opener last weekend, and they will now be looking for their first three points against Cadiz on Sunday.

“The team is in good shape. We have trained with intensity to try to surprise Cadiz. Sergio [Gonzalez] is a great coach, they play 4-4-2 with a low block and they are well-drilled. We hope to give our best performance,” said the club’s head coach.

“We will go with the intention of attacking and generating superiority. Nothing is going to change. Cadiz defend the box very well and they are good at set pieces. Sergio is a very good coach and it’s going to be difficult for us the day after tomorrow.

“The main objective is for the team to play better football. This takes time and maturity. Last year we played well, but we did not play so well in a few other games. We have to try to play like we did in the Super Cup against Madrid.”

Xavi was handed a red card against Getafe and will therefore start a two-game touchline suspension this weekend.

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