Barcelona manager Luis Enrique has suggested he will not rest the players who are at risk of missing the El Clasico showdown with Real Madrid when his side take on Real Sociedad on Saturday (15 April).
First-choice full-backs Sergi Roberto and Jordi Alba are both on four yellow cards for the season. A fifth will earn them an automatic one-match suspension for domestic matches.
Should either man put a foot wrong against Real Sociedad they could face missing out on the biggest game of the season when the Catalan giants travel to the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday, 23 April.
But when asked if his selection against the Basque side on Saturday might be conditioned by the looming derby, Enrique told a press conference broadcast through the club's website: "No, not at all."
Real Madrid duo Cristiano Ronaldo and Nacho will be walking an identical tightrope on Saturday against Sporting Gijon, which both men also on four yellow cards.
Barcelona will already be without Neymar for their upcoming meeting with Los Blancos, however. The 25-year-old was shown a red card after two bookable offences in the 2-0 defeat to Malaga on 8 April but his decision to sarcastically applaud the referee's decision to send him off saw him slapped with a retrospective three-game ban days later.
Barcelona are also without Aleix Vidal, someone who would have been able to step in for Roberto in the event of him being booked on Saturday, and Rahinha for the trip to the capital.
Javier Mascherano meanwhile did not train with the rest of the squad on Friday after suffering a calf injury during Tuesday's Champions League defeat to Juventus. The Argentina international is expected to miss Saturday's match against Real Sociedad but could be back in contention for Wednesday's return leg against the Italian champions – with Barcelona trailing 3-0 on aggregate.
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