Iniesta to miss start of La Liga campaign as Barcelona captain faces two weeks out with knee injury

Barcelona’s midfield maestro Andres Iniesta will be out for two weeks after sustaining a knee injury in Sunday’s 2-0 Spanish Super Cup first leg win at Sevilla. The Barca captain was forced off in the 36th minute following a late challenge from Sevilla defender Mariano, barely 10 minutes after Jeremy Mathieu was substituted with a hamstring problem. He will also be out for the first two La Liga games of the season at home to Real Betis on Saturday and at Athletic Bilbao the following weekend.

Mathieu is set for a longer spell on the sidelines with the Frenchman set for three weeks out. New signing Lucas Digne, who made his debut when he replaced Mathieu on Sunday, could be line for a first competitive start on Wednesday after joining from Paris St Germain.

Denis Suarez is a possible stand-in for Iniesta in the second leg with Sevilla although coach Luis Enrique may also choose to opt for new signing Andre Gomes or Rafinha who missed most of last season with a serious knee injury. Having established himself as a legend for Barcelona over the years, Iniesta’s absence will provide an opportunity for someone else to stake their claim for a role in central midfield.

Enrique’s side will be hopeful they can finish the job against Sevilla without Iniesta. They take a two goal lead into the second leg after Luis Suarez and Munir netted to give their team an advantage.

 

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