Another opportunity for Samuel Umtiti to wrestle back Barcelona place

The defender is close to returning from an injury and could feature at Eibar

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Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti is close to making his comeback from a foot injury that has ruled him out since the beginning of September. 

Francesc J. Gimeno

Over the last five weeks, the French centre-back has missed nine games, which can be added to the 28 he missed last season with a knee problem. 

Since winning the World Cup with France on Juy 15, 2018, in Moscow, his sporting career has dived due to injuries. Now he has a new opportunity ahead of him to win his place back in the Barça side. 

Gerard Pique's accumulation of yellow cards, added to the dismissal of B teamer Ronald Araujo, leaves coach Ernesto Valverde with just two centre-backs for this weekend's game against Eibar: Jean Clair Todibo and Clement Lenglet.

But the fact that Umtiti completed part of Monday's training session invites the idea that he could be cleared fit to make his return to action this weekend. It's good news for Valverde but also for Umtiti, who needs minutes. 

INJURIES 

Injuries have halted his career in the last year. Since the World Cup, he's hardly featured for Barcelona or France. His knees last season meant he could play just 14 league games and one in the Champions League, as well as five official games for France and one friendly. 

The start of this season has seen him sidelined with a foot injury which he picked up on duty with Les Bleus in September. 

Umtiti now has a good chance to get back on track. Barça have five games in just over two weeks, starting with Eibar in the Basque Country on Saturday. Four days later, they're at Slavia Prague and then it's Real Madrid and Real Valladolid at Camp Nou and Levante in Valencia on Nov. 2. 

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