Injury boost for Barcelona as Samuel Umtiti could feature against former club Lyon in Champions League

Aditya Devavrat 20:11 09/02/2019
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Samuel Umtiti was sub-par against Sevilla

Samuel Umtiti returned to training for Barcelona on Friday as he bids to regain fitness ahead of the Champions League round of 16 tie against former club Lyon.

The French centre-back has not featured since November thanks to a knee injury that has seen him miss 17 games across all competitions, the most notable absentee in Barcelona’s defensive crisis.

However, his desire to face the club where he spent five years as a youngster before moving to Barcelona in 2016 is set to bear fruit, with the 25-year-old now in with a chance to play in the February 19 fixture.

If Umtiti is fit, he would likely come in for Clement Lenglet, who has been Ernesto Valverde’s preferred centre-back partner for Gerard Pique.

The defender’s return is a welcome in a week where La Blaugrana received bad news on the injury front elsewhere, with midfielder Arthur set to be out for three to four weeks with a hamstring injury.

That came on the back of an injury to Lionel Messi during last Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Valencia, with the captain looking short of his best in the midweek Copa del Rey tie against Real Madrid. Messi may miss Sunday’s trip to Athletic Bilbao as a result.

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