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Barcelona rule out Ousmane Dembele for Liverpool match

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Barcelona have left out Ousmane Dembele from their 23-man squad for the trip to Liverpool in their Champions League semi-final clash.

After just six minutes of action at Celta Vigo on Saturday, Dembele was substituted for Alex Collado. The Frenchman had sustained hamstring damage, with Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde fearful he had torn a muscle.

Upon further inspection of Dembele’s injury, Barcelona released a statement this afternoon confirming his injury. But they didn’t provide a possible return date.

Not long after that, however, the Blaugrana announced their 23-man squad (see below) for the trip to Anfield with Dembele a notable absentee.

“Dembele, because of injury, and [Jean-Clair] Todibo are not travelling with the team and will stay in Barcelona,” read another club statement.

Dembele has managed 14 goals and nine assists in 42 appearances for Barcelona this season.

Following the 21-year-old’s withdrawal, a much-changed Blaugrana team fell to a surprise 2-0 La Liga defeat to Celta following goals from Maxi Gomez and Iago Aspas.

Considering that they’ve already wrapped up the league title, anyway, the result counts for nothing in the end for Barcelona.

Valverde’s side will now put their full focus onto Tuesday’s trip to Anfield. Currently, they hold a 3-0 aggregate lead over Liverpool for the second leg of their Champions League semi-final tie.

The Liverpool and Barcelona match will kick-off at 21:00 (CET).

23-man Barcelona squad

Goalkeeper: Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Jasper Cillessen, Iñaki Peña.

Defenders: Nelson Semedo, Gerard Pique, Clement Lenglet, Jeison Murillo, Jordi Alba, Sergi Roberto, Samuel Umtiti, Thomas Vermaelen, Moussa Wague.

Midfielders: Sergio Busquets, Phillipe Coutinho, Arthur, Rafinha, Ivan Rakitic, Arturo Vidal, Carles Aleñá.

Forwards: Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi, Malcolm,  Kevin-Prince Boateng.