Barcelona's Malcom out for 10-15 days with ankle sprain

By Sports Desk December 06, 2018

Malcom will be out of contention for 10 to 15 days after Barcelona confirmed he suffered an ankle problem in Wednesday's Copa del Rey meeting with Cultural Leonesa.

The Brazilian sustained a sprained right ankle in the 4-1 victory at Camp Nou, which secured a 5-1 aggregate success and a place in the last 16.

Barca had used all three substitutes by that stage and were forced to see out the remaining minutes a man light.

Malcom had netted his side's third goal late in the first half, but is now certain to miss Saturday's derby trip to Espanyol as well as Tuesday's Champions League encounter at home to Tottenham. Barca are already assured progress as winners of Group B.

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    Ernesto Valverde cautioned Barcelona against complacency after confessing to knowing little about Champions League last-16 opponents Lyon.

    The LaLiga leaders avoided an undesirable date with Liverpool in Monday's draw but were set the awkward challenge of a developing team that went unbeaten in Group F.

    Lyon memorably toppled Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium in September and twice led the Premier League champions during an entertaining 2-2 draw in the reverse encounter.

    Valverde, who guided Barca comfortably through a group containing Tottenham and Inter, conceded his knowledge of the Ligue 1 outfit is limited, but the Spaniard knows enough to be wary.

    "The truth is that I have seen little. I have a general idea, there are some players that we know, but we have to prepare well," Valverde told his club's media channel.

    "It's a team that was challenging City for leadership of the group until the last game and won at their ground.

    "That shows the difficulty to win any game. Not only for us, but for any team.

    "I have the sense they are a very dangerous team in space because they break very well, very fast, and we have to be a little careful.

    "We can't afford to be complacent. We have two months to refine ourselves a bit more, to study the opponents more and get to the tie in good shape."

    Barca, three points clear in LaLiga, are aiming to improve on three straight quarter-final exits in the Champions League.

    They will meet Lyon in France on February 19 before hosting the return leg in Spain the following month.

  • Atletico confirm Filipe Luis hamstring injury Atletico confirm Filipe Luis hamstring injury

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    The Brazilian left-back was forced off an hour into Atletico's dramatic 3-2 win at Real Valladolid on Saturday.

    Atletico announced on Monday that, following an MRI scan, the 33-year-old sustained a grade one strain.

    Although the club have not set a specific return date, a rest period of three weeks is recommended after such injuries.

    As such, Filipe Luis will most likely miss Saturday's visit of Espanyol and the trip to second-placed Sevilla on January 6, although he could be in contention to return against Girona in the Copa del Rey three days later.

    Filipe Luis has played in 13 of Atletico's 16 LaLiga games this term.

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    Vermaelen was featuring in LaLiga for just the third time this season in the 5-0 crushing of Levante on Sunday when he sustained the injury, forcing his withdrawal for Arthur in the 52nd minute.

    The Belgian has endured woeful luck with injuries in his career, missing lengthy periods at Arsenal due to fitness problems.

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