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03.06.2007 17:25

The week ahead

Jesús Carrillo

Normality will not return to FC Barcelona's first team until Thursday when the 13 players on international duty all return to training to work with the rest of the squad.

The Barça stars that are not participating in the latest round of Euro 2008 qualifiers and friendlies are back in action on Monday after a weekend off. The team will train at 18:00 behind closed doors as they prepare to take on RCD Espanyol in the Copa Catalunya on Tuesday. Frank Rijkaard will have nine players available for the game from the first-team and will have to call upon the services of the club's youth teams, as he did for the semi final of the competition against Gimnàstic.

Final outing

The Municipal de la Nueva Alta Stadium in Sabadell will be the setting for the final of Catalan cup. While Barça beate Nàstic to qualify, Espanyol overcame Lleida on penalties following a goalless draw. The game takes place at 21:45 and is live on Barça TV.

Espanyol again

Espanyol are also Barça's next opponents when the Spanish league programme resumes on Saturday. In order to preprare for the penultimate game of the campaign, the team will train on Wednesday at midday and then on Thursday evening, both times on the pitch in front of la Masia, when all the first-team are expected to be present. The final session will take place on Friday behind closed doors.

At 21:00 on Saturday evening, FC Barcelona will play their final home game of the season. This weekend is set to be decisive in the races for the title, the Champions League and the UEFA Cup, and also the relegation places at the foot of the table.
The week ahead
Xavi the first one back
While the majority of international players wil return to training on Thursday at FC Barcelona, Xavi Hernández will be back even sooner. The Terrassa-born midfielder was booked in Spain's game against Latvia at the weekend and will be suspended for the trip to Liechtenstein on Wednesday. He will, therefore, return to Camp Nou immediately.

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