BARCELONA

Messi and Suárez expected to be fit to face Espanyol

Messi and Suárez expected to be fit to face Espanyol

MARCELO DEL POZO

REUTERS

The Argentinean was out on the training pitch on Wednesday after an international duty injury while his strike partner could also be fit for the derby.

Ernesto Valverde has been handed a boost with the news that both Leo Messi and Luis Suárez may be fit for the Barcelona derby against Espanyol this weekend.

With Barça 10 points clear at the top of the table and facing an Espanyol side who have enjoyed a significant upturn in results in recent weeks, the presence of the division’s top two scorers in Camp Nou on Saturday will be reassuring for the Barcelona manager.

Messi picked up a pelvic issue during Argentina’s friendly defeat against Venezuela and did not travel to Morocco for the Albiceleste’s second game of the international break but after a four-day break was back on the training pitches at the Ciudad Deportiva on Wednesday and is expected to be passed fit to play against Espanyol.

Suárez recovering from sprained ankle

Suárez, meanwhile, spent the international break in Barcelona recovering from an ankle injury he sustained against Betis and after a few days of individual work was able to complete some of the session with his teammates on Wednesday, improving his chances of being available from the start on Saturday.

Valverde is still without Ousmane Dembélé, who is expected to return to training next week, and Rafinha but otherwise has a full squad to choose from against Espanyol with all of his internationals returning from their national sides unscathed.