Barcelona face rivals Real Madrid in the first leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final clash on Wednesday night, but they have injury concerns to deal with.
The Catalan giants came from behind to claim a point against Valencia in La Liga at the weekend, but it may well have come at a price.
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Aside from scoring twice to drag his side level, Lionel Messi is said to have picked up an injury problem which raises question marks over his availability to face Real Madrid in midweek.
According to Mundo Deportivo, there is still major concern over whether or not he’ll be able to feature as he didn’t train on Monday, and so that would suggest that either Barcelona don’t want to risk aggravating the problem or that he simply isn’t going to be risked at all.
Given the 31-year-old has now scored 29 goals and provided 17 assists in 27 appearances so far this season across all competitions, they will be desperate to have him fully fit for such a crunch showdown.
However, they will also want to avoid worsening the injury, which in turn could lead to an extended spell on the sidelines.
With that in mind, it looks doubtful that Messi will feature, but perhaps improvement on Tuesday could keep him in contention if he is able to train with the rest of the squad.
Meanwhile, Mundo Deportivo also report that Ousmane Dembele trained alone as he recovers from an ankle injury which he picked up last month, and so it also remains to be seen whether or not he gets the green light to take part from the medical staff.
Losing two key figures in the attacking third will certainly be a blow for Barcelona, but time will tell if both fail to make the squad announcement, which should be made on Tuesday after coach Ernesto Valverde has spoken to the media.