Messi fitness in doubt ahead of cup clash against Real Madrid

Messi fitness in doubt ahead of cup clash against Real Madrid

Luis Suarez scored twice in last term's final as Barca brushed aside Sevilla 5-0 and the Uruguay global added to Los Rojiblancos' woes with a strike in the 6-1 win when the sides met in last week's quarter-final second leg.

He had ended Barca's 2-2 draw with Valencia on Saturday with a knock.

Nonetheless, a fit and available Messi is clearly preferable for the La Liga leaders who are giving their captain the time he needs to to prove his fitness.

"There is a training session and we will see how he is, whether he can do it and whether he is in the right condition".

In addition, Frenchman Ousmane Dembele returned to training on Tuesday after battling hamstring injury in the past days.

"Between tomorrow and the day afterwards we'll need to see exactly how he is and what he has", Valverde said.

"In a semifinal between Barca and Madrid there's no favourite".

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Whether it's a sign of defiance or just tempting fate, manager Santiago Solari says he hopes Messi is fit for the first leg.

"Fixtures lists are always hard at this time of year, throughout January, and with this semi-final with two top-level games, league games and the Champions League starting soon, we all need to be careful", Valverde added.

"In football, it is good for the best players to play in all games", Solari said.

Leo Messi was instrumental in Barcelona's Copa Del Rey matches, as usual, helping them overcome teams like Sevilla.

Valverde said he would make a final decision on Messi after consulting with the player and the club's medical team. Although the statistic is quite staggering, Ernesto Valverde, will be wary of what the over dependency on one man can cost as we progress to the end of the season.

But Barcelona face a crucial test as they will play against Real Madrid three times in the span of a month amidst their Champions League fixtures.