Xavi: We can cope without duo

Xavi shrugged off talk of a defensive crisis at Barcelona with the season's first El Clasico on the horizon.

Last Updated: 20/09/12 at 11:02 Post Comment

Xavi: Confident of overcoming injuries

Xavi: Confident of overcoming injuries

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Barcelona midfielder Xavi shrugged off talk of a defensive crisis ahead of the season's first league meeting with Real Madrid.

Barca suffered another injury worry on Wednesday night when Gerard Pique limped out of their 3-2 win over Spartak Moscow after just 12 minutes.

He was immediately ruled out for two to three weeks by club doctors, meaning he faces a race against time to be fit to meet Jose Mourinho's defending champions on October 7.

Pique's regular partner in central defence, Carles Puyol, is also sidelined currently, but Xavi insists the Barca squad is strong enough to cope.

He told the club's official website: "All of the players that have picked up injuries are important. Puyol and Pique without a doubt are very important, but the team is big enough to cope with their absences.

"We're focusing on Saturday's match (against Granada). Before the Clasico there are two more league games and another Champions League fixture.

"It's clear that it would be good to get them (Puyol and Pique) back before the Clasico, but we have a good team.

"(Sergio) Busquets, (Alex) Song, who played a good game (against Spartak), (Javier) Mascherano...all of them can play in the centre-back position."

Barca trailed to Spartak but two goals from Lionel Messi saw them open their Champions League campaign with a victory.

"We won a difficult match, that's to our credit," said the Argentina star.

"It's not easy to fight back when they close themselves off and they defend in their own area.

"They have very fast forwards and they're very good on the counter.

"What we want is titles and we're on the right path. My goals are only important if they help the team."

Winger Cristian Tello was the outstanding performer on the night for Barca - scoring their opener and setting up Messi for the equaliser.

Tello said: "I'm very happy we won and that we got the three points, the first Champions League match is always important.

"I'm very pleased that the boss is confident in my abilities and I'm happy that I played a part in two goals - I scored the first and I assisted the second.

"I do what the boss tells me to do, he told me to take my chances, I'm lucky that my shot went in."

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