Huge boost for Chelsea as two Barcelona stars ruled out of first leg

Barcelona defenders Gerard Pique and Thomas Vermaelen are likely to miss the Champions League meeting with Chelsea.

Alvaro Romeo reports that Pique is due to have a scan on his knee following an injury sustained during Barcelona’s meeting with Espanyol.

Pique caught the headlines after scoring a dramatic late equaliser against rivals Espanyol but was struggling after the final whistle.

The first meeting between the two sides falls on February 20 and it is believed that Pique may still be out, but could feature in the second leg.

Vermaelen has been used sparingly this season but is also likely to miss out, leaving manager Ernesto Valverde with something of a selection headache going into the match.

The news comes just weeks after Javier Mascherano left the club to move to the Chinese Super League.

Barcelona did sign Colombian youngster Yerry Mina in January, but the 23-year-old is yet to feature for the Catalan side.

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