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stefanos_tsitsipas Stefanos Tsitsipas Stefanos Tsitsipas
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BARCELONA

Rafinha's gastroenteritis complicates life for Valverde

The Barcelona manager refuses to change his mind despite the most recent injury worries as Messi looks set to start on the bench on Sunday night.

Una gastroenteritis para a Rafinha.

If Barcelona's game against Real Betis was Saturday evening instead of Sunday evening, Ernesto Valverde would have a massive issue to contend with regarding his team selection. Luis Suárez and Ousmane Dembélé are out for sure, Lionel Messi is just recovering from a calf injury and Rafinha's stomach issues mean Antoine Griezmann is the only fit attacker. 

It seems as though Rafinha's presence is not in danger for the game and they will wait out Saturday to see how he improves with the rest of his teammates training in the afternoon. They are also hoping that Lionel Messi will be given the all clear after the session and will enter into the match-day squad saving any major setback.

Barcelona will be patient with Leo Messi. The idea is to remain conservative to make sure he is fully fit and they will not rush him back. The plan is for Messi to start on the bench regardless of the result and bring him off the bench for a half an hour at the end.

Messi knows his body better than anyone though and will have the final say after training on Saturday. If he feels he can play the game and get through it, it could change the course of Valverde's decision-making. He hasn't played a single game though and injured himself in his first training session back with the team after Copa América duties and could be lacking the tempo and match fitness necessary for a full LaLiga.