Pedri and Frenkie de Jong, who have been out of action due to hamstring injuries, may be available to play for Barcelona on Sunday.
Xavi expressed his pleasure at the news that Barcelona midfielders Pedri and Frenkie de Jong have been declared fit to play in the upcoming game against Atletico Madrid. Pedri had been out of action since picking up a hamstring injury during a 2-2 draw with Manchester United in February.
Pedri was expected to return for last month’s La Liga match against Real Madrid, which Barcelona won 2-1. However, he had a setback in his recovery from a hamstring injury sustained during the Europa League clash against Manchester United in February.
While Pedri has missed 11 games in total, De Jong has been out of action for Barca’s last four matches due to a similar injury.
“Pedri helps us, also Frenkie,” Xavi said. “They are essential, vital players, however you want to say it, but we have played great games without them.
“In the end, it is about the idea and the game model. We are in a privileged situation in LaLiga and the players have understood this well. We have played great games without some crucial players.
“Pedri is key in the last pass. He associates very well with Robert [Lewandowski], they get along very well. It’s very good news to get him back, not only for Robert.”
Xavi heaps praise on ‘essential’ de Jong and Pedri
Xavi acknowledges that Barcelona are in a strong position with an 11-point lead over Real Madrid and only nine games left to play, making it theirs to lose. Despite this, he anticipates a challenging match against Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid side who have won six successive league games ahead of their upcoming clash at Camp Nou.
“We have an important advantage and we have to make it good,” Xavi said. “Losing the League would be anything but the fault of the other teams, it would be our fault.
“Every game is a final from now on. If we beat Atletico, we would eliminate them as a rival. We are in a privileged situation but we cannot relax.
“Tomorrow will be a difficult game, Atleti are the best team in the league at the moment, they are the fittest team in LaLiga right now.”