Frenkie de Jong is missing from FC Barcelona’s selection for the return against Real Madrid in the semi-finals of the Spanish Cup tournament. The two clubs meet on Wednesday evening at Camp Nou.
Barcelona defends a lead in front of their own audience without De Jong, who is still injured. More than a month ago, coach Xavi’s team won 1-0 in Madrid.
25-year-old De Jong suffered a hamstring injury two weeks ago, just before the international match. That happened in the closing seconds of the Clásico in the Spanish league. Barcelona then won 2-1 against Real in their own stadium and increased their lead at the top of La Liga to twelve points.
De Jong missed the first two European Championship qualifiers for the Orange squad. Without the playmaker, the team of national coach Ronald Koeman fell hard against France (4-0) and recorded a meager victory over Gibraltar (3-0).
Barcelona resumed the competition on Saturday with a convincing win at Elche (0-4). In addition to De Jong, Xavi also misses Pedri, Ousmane Dembélé and Andreas Christensen against Real Madrid. The winner will face Athletic Club of Osasuna in the final of the Copa del Rey next month.