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Valverde torn on Iniesta’s Supercup replacement

Valverde torn on Iniesta’s Supercup replacement

Barcelona are seeking to overcome a 3-1 first leg deficit as they travel to the Bernabeu on Wednesday night, but they will have to do so without captain and midfield maestro Andres Iniesta.

The 33-year-old did not train on Tuesday and was not included in the squad to travel to Madrid ahead of the tie. It is believed that a muscle injury is the cause behind his absence.

That will likely give an opportunity to Sergi Roberto to step in midfield as speculation mounts surrounding his future. Andre Gomes and Denis Suarez may also come into contention.

Youngster Carles Alena has also been included in the 19 man squad and will hope to make the bench having not been involved in the first leg of the Super Cup.

New signing Paulinho has not been included in the squad with his official presentation as an FC Barcelona player not taking place until Thursday.

Iniesta was not at his best in the first leg at the Camp Nou on Sunday but his absence could still pose a problem for new manager Ernesto Valverde. Without the World Cup winner’s experience and quality in midfield, the uphill battle to overcome Real Madrid will be even steeper.

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