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Barcelona's Gerard Deulofeu out 10 days with knee injury

Steve Nicol argues that Chelsea have a great opportunity against a Barcelona side reliant on Lionel Messi and Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
Barca's Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez were keen to show off the six Golden Shoe awards they've won between them.

Barcelona winger Gerard Deulofeu has been ruled out for the next 10 days with a knee problem.

Deulofeu strained the ligaments in his left knee in training on Friday and as a result will miss this weekend's penultimate game of the calendar year against Deportivo La Coruna at Camp Nou.

Ernesto Valverde's side then face Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu on Dec. 23, a match which Deulofeu is also likely to sit out.

Since re-joining Barca from Everton in the summer for €12 million, Deulofeu has made 16 appearances in all competitions.

However, he has found himself out of Valverde's plans in recent weeks.

He was not included in the squad for either of Barca's last two league outings and was an unused substitute in the Champions League win against Sporting Lisbon, when a number of squad players were given an opportunity.

As a consequence of his lack of game time, Deulofeu has been linked with a January move to Italy, with both Inter and Napoli reported to be interested.

Meanwhile, Barca hope to have Andres Iniesta and Javier Mascherano back for this weekend's visit from 17th-placed Depor.

Both Ousmane Dembele and Rafinha have also returned to full training, but neither are expected to be passed fit for Sunday's game.

Barca are looking to maintain their five-point lead over Valencia, who travel to Eibar on Saturday, with Atletico Madrid hosting Alaves and Real Madrid not playing due to their participation in the Club World Cup.

Samuel Marsden covers Barcelona for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @SamuelMarsden.

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