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Puyol facing spell on sidelines

Barcelona captain Carles Puyol is set to be sidelined for up 10 days with a groin injury.

The centre-back noticed the problem while representing Catalonia against Honduras on Tuesday and subsequent tests have confirmed the extent of the injury, which, according to the Barcelona website, will keep the Spain World Cup winner out for "between seven to 10 days".

Barca, who are two points clear at the top of the Primera Division table, are due to play Levante and Deportivo La Coruna in the league next week as well as the second leg of their Copa del Rey last-16 tie with Athletic Bilbao, with the first leg at the Nou Camp having finished in a goalless draw.

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Puyol: Guardiola will not leave Barca

Barcelona skipper Carles Puyol is confident that manager Pep Guardiola will soon pen a new deal and secure his long-term future.

Guardiola has been an immense success since his appointment in 2008, having led Barca to two consecutive league titles along with the 2009 Champions League crown and the Copa del Rey.

With European powerhouses circling around Guardiola, club legend Puyol told club channel Barca TV that he has no worries over their tactician departing the Catalan outfit.

The Spanish international stated: "We are making history, and so I think he will continue. It is what he wants. This team has something, where it is always motivated to win. We can play either better or worse, but we always give everything in the field.

"This team is here to stay, and I continue to believe that about our coach."

Club colleague Pedro has also urged his manager to remain at the Barca helm and backed him to lead the club to further more glorious eras.

He added: "I hope he is here for many years to come. He is a very good coach who has been very successful, and if things continue, we will have many good seasons with him."

Barca are sitting at the summit of the La Liga table, two points ahead of fierce rivals Real Madrid.

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