• Champions League


Messi a doubt for Barcelona, as Dembélé looks to return

Messi a doubt for Barcelona, as Dembélé looks to return

Rubén Albarrán


Ernesto Valverde has a big decision to make for the trip to San Mamés, as he aims to avoid more dropped Liga points, but doesn't put at risk the Lyon clash.

The big surprise in Barcelona's training session on Friday morning was the absence of Lionel Messi. The reason this has surprised many is that the Argentine striker was definitely expected on the training field, having not been a starter in the Real Madrid Copa del Rey match on Wednesday.

Messi in doubt, as Dembélé returns

Instead of joining the rest of the group, the player stayed in the gym to go through some physiotherapy and a massage. This clearly points to the fact that Messi is still not completely over the discomfort he felt in his right leg picked up in the Valencia game last weekend, one that kept him out of El Clásico starting XI. This is despite the club stating that he was 'one hundred percent ready' before the midweek semi-final.

We now await news on whether or not Ernesto Valverde will call on him for Sunday's league game against Athletic Bilbao in San Mamés. It may be that he chooses to rest him further ahead of the Champions League game with a very dangerous Lyon side. A reason that may give the coach more confidence in leaving out his star man is that Ousmane Dembélé looks set to be back after training with the group, and could be ready to start at La Catedral.

LaLiga Santander

Table PTS W D L
1Barcelona 50 15 5 2
2Atlético 44 12 8 2
3Real Madrid 42 13 3 6
Full standing
Next matches
Athletic - Barcelona D-10/02 20:45
Barcelona - Valladolid S-16/02 20:45
Sevilla - Barcelona S-23/02 16:15

*Update 8 de febrero de 2019