Barcelona announce strike while five first-team players train ahead of Atletico Madrid clash

Denis Suarez was one of the five first-team player who trained on Monday.Getty

Barcelona have begun their preparations for the upcoming trip to Atletico Madrid on Saturday (14 October) with only five first-team players as the majority of Ernesto Valverde's squad are already away on international duty.

The Catalans made it seven wins out of seven in La Liga on Sunday (1 October) by securing a comfortable 3-0 victory over Las Palmas.

One goal from Sergio Busquets and a brace from Lionel Messi saw Barcelona go into the second international break of the campaign at the top of La Liga table, five points ahead of Sevilla and six ahead of Valencia and Atletico.

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Valverde will now have almost two weeks to prepare for the coming fixtures with a crucial trip to the new Wanda Metropolitano stadium in La Liga coming only four days before a Champions League encounter against Olympiakos at the Nou Camp.

However, the Barcelona boss will begin that process with only Denis Suarez, Gerard Deulofeu, Paco Alcacer, Sergi Roberto and Aleix Vidal still at the club with Lionel Messi and co having already joined up with their respective national teams. Others meanwhile are still unavailable for various fitness reasons.

In this sense, Iniesta has pulled out from the Spain squad for their final two World Cup qualifiers after suffering a hamstring injury during the win over Las Palmas which is expected to keep him on the sidelines for around 10 days.

Furthermore, long-term casualties Ousmane Dembele and Rafinha Alcantara also remain on the sidelines, with the second having undergone another knee surgery over the weekend.

"Another break in the league programme for World Cup qualifiers and that means the Barça players called up by their national federations have now left for international duty. As such, Ernesto Valverde had just five players from the first team available for training for Monday's session: Denis Suárez, Deulofeu, Alcácer, Sergi Roberto and Aleix Vidal were the players who took part at the Ciutat Esportiva along with the Barça B squad," the club confirmed via its official website.

Meanwhile, Barcelona have confirmed that the available quintet won't train on Tuesday as the club will take part in a strike called by Table for Democracy after a disputed referendum on Catalan independence held on Sunday ended in chaos and violence.

On Sunday, the Barcelona board decided to play their game against Las Palmas behind closed doors in order to express their "disagreement" over La Liga's decision not to officially postpone the game.

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