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Dembele ready to return for Barca on Saturday – Xavi

Barcelona forward Ousmane Dembele. Photo: Pau Barrena/AFP

Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez confirmed winger Ousmane Dembele will return from injury on Saturday against Real Betis in La Liga.

The French forward, a key player for the league leaders this season, has been out since January with a thigh injury.

Dembele recently returned to training but was not included in the squad to face Rayo Vallecano on Wednesday at Vallecas, while Danish defender Andreas Christensen also missed out.

“On Saturday he’s back, don’t worry, he’s in perfect condition, Andreas will be back on Saturday too,” Xavi told a news conference Tuesday.

Barcelona have been badly hit by injuries in 2023 with midfielders Pedri and Frenkie de Jong out too, the pair making their return in the 1-0 win over Atletico on Sunday.

Barcelona kept their 23rd clean sheet of the season in the victory, which left them 11 points clear at the top of the table with eight games remaining. 

Goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen made some impressive saves and Xavi sang the German’s praises.

“He’s a perfectionist, I think that he’s worked hard,” said Xavi.

“He knew that he had to improve and he has done, this year he’s at an extraordinary level. I think he’s the best goalkeeper in the world, and more so for the way he fits our game.”

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