Barcelona continue to be plagued by injuries as decisive player is ruled out of Rayo Vallecano trip

Barcelona will already be without Gavi and Sergi Roberto for their trip to face Rayo Vallecano at Vallecas on Saturday, but that has been compounded by the absence of Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

The German goalkeeper returned from international duty early last Friday with back pain, and originally it was thought that it would be a short-term issue. Yet his pain has not alleviated during the course of the week, and after tests on Friday at the Ciutat Esportiva training ground, it was concluded that he would not play, as per MD. He may still travel with the squad to Madrid.

Ter Stegen, 31, collected the MVP Award and the Zamora Award from Marca on Thursday, which goes to show just how much of a factor the German is for the Blaugrana. They visit a side which they have beaten just once in their last four attempts, and it will be a baptism of fire for Inaki Pena, who is yet to play competitive football this season.