Franck Kessie

The bad news from the inconsequential match against Viktoria Plzen was the injury to Franck Kessie. The Ivorian started the game in place of the suspended Sergio Busquets but was forced to leave the field in the 67th minute in pain after feeling a pinch in the back of his left thigh as he ran out on a counter-attack.

“Kessie’s hurt in a bad way. He’s hurt his hamstring,” warned Xavi after the game.

He will undergo tests in Barcelona today to determine the full extent of the injury to his hamstring, but all the signs indicate that he will be out for at least a month and a half.

He will miss Barça’s two games before the World Cup break in Qatar, against Almeria and Osasuna, and should be fit for when the competition resumes in a couple of months, on 31st December with the derby against Espanyol.

Until his injury, Kessie had been playing well, filling in as a pivot for the first time. Xavi had used him more as an inside player previously. He had completed 56 of 65 passes and won six duels, imposing his physical strength in midfield.

“He’s a good option for the pivot. Too bad about the injury. He was playing well in that position in a context that was not easy,” remarked Xavi about the Ivorian player, who has not had as many opportunities as he would have liked in this first part of the season.

He has played 485 minutes in thirteen matches, scoring one goal, against Viktoria Plzen.

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