Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


Barcelona injuries leave La Liga wide open

Barcelona's injury concerns have worsened after two key first-team players picked up problems during their 2-1 La Liga defeat at Atletico Madrid on Sunday night.

It was the Spanish giants' first league setback this term and the news that Xavi and Seydou Keita are to be ruled out through injury has only added to their woes.

Keita limped out of action in the opening exchanges and a muscle tear will see him missing for around a month.

Influential midfielder Xavi has a thigh strain in his right leg and will miss the domestic fixtures against Racing Santander and Malaga, along with the Champions League fixture against Stuttgart in Germany.

They will join Eric Abidal, Yaya Toure, Dani Alves and Dmytro Chygrynskiy in the Barca treatment room.

Meanwhile, Sevilla striker Luis Fabiano believes Barcelona will struggle in La Liga as their injury problems continue to grow.

His side have suffered with problems of their own throughout the current campaign, but with many of their prized assets returning to the fold, he is predicting a brighter future.

The Brazilian headed home in the 1-0 win against Osasuna on Sunday but the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan outfit remain a huge 16 points off Barca, who sit atop the table.

Speaking to reporters, he said: "The Liga race is open because Barcelona will suffer from their injuries.

"I think that with the recovery of our important players, one will see Sevilla return to our winning ways.

"We suffered a lot from injuries and we are going to get back to winning our important matches.

"We played well yesterday and surely we will play even better in the next few matches."