Barcelona's Ernesto Valverde - Lionel Messi training but no decision on availability

07 November, 2018, 11:15 | Author: Amy Huff
  • Lionel Messi in Barcelona's squad to play Inter Milan in Champions League

Barcelona's Argentinian striker Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring their third goal during the Champions League group B football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Barcelona at Wembley Stadium in London, on October 3, 2018.

Barcelona boss Valverde was quoted by Marca as saying in his post-match press conference: "We wanted to close out our lead, we did everything possible, but we're happy because we managed to qualify". We didn't win but we qualified. It will be a very tough game and there will be a lot at stake, because the prize is an important one. The Catalans dispatched the Nerazzurri by a 2-0 score a fortnight ago and such a result would be enough for them to seal qualification into the knockout rounds with two matches to play. "They will likely play with the intention of having the ball and following their gameplan".

Sergio Busquets revealed his delight for Malcom after the 21-year-old scored his first Barcelona goal in a 1-1 draw at Inter.

Barcelona have coped well in Messi's absence - winning all four of the games he has missed.

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Marc Andre Ter Stegen is indispensable in between the sticks and will certainly get the nod ahead of Jasper Cillessen yet again.

At the back, Sergi Roberto, Gerard Pique, Clement Langlet and Jordi Alba are all likely to start. The midfield unit is pretty settled, with Arthur cementing his place in the first-team setup.

And upfront, Messi and Philippe Coutinho should flank Luis Suarez. The final spot in the side should go to the captain, Messi. With a crunch game against title rivals Atletico Madrid coming up, Valverde may rest his key man. Ousmane Dembele is slated to replace Messi in the side.

He has travelled with the squad to Milan without the all-clear from the club's medical team. "The message from this match is that we want to qualify from the group, we wanted to take points from this match knowing that now we have two hard matches".

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