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Barcelona’s Andrés Iniesta inches closer to pitch return just in time for Chelsea encounter

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Barcelona midfielder Andrés Iniesta has been putting some hard work on the Catalan’s training camp since picking up a hamstring injury in their La Liga game against Atlético Madrid on March 4th, aiming to return to match fitness in time to face Chelsea in the return leg of the Champions League’s round of 16 clash between the two sides. Fortunately for them (and unfortunately for us), the work may pay its dividends as Iniesta is expected to return to the fold to take on the Londoners at Camp Nou tomorrow.

Iniesta’s quick recovery is already being deemed as “miraculous” by Spanish newspaper Marca, as initial expectations had him recovering from the hamstring issue in three weeks instead of less than two. His return also bodes well for Barcelona not only for the quality of his play, but also for the fact that his immediate back-up in former Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho is cup-tied.

Meanwhile, Barcelona will still have right-back Nelson Semedo and midfielder Denis Suárez out of contention as neither were able to make an injury recovery as switch as Iniesta.

Surely enough, Iniesta’s return is not yet set in stone. A recovery as quick as his from such an injury could have set-backs, especially if the player is rushed back onto the pitch. But the lack of (quality, not cut-tied) depth to fill in Iniesta’s shoes, coupled with the importance of the tie, should have Barça manager Ernesto Valverde employing the living legend for the game if he is truly fit to feature.

Still, Chelsea should be ready for everything. With or without Iniesta, all that matters is doing the utmost to grab a proper result and make it to the next round.

Let’s do it!