Published: Wed, February 06, 2019
Sports | By Brett Lawson

Uncertainty about Messi does not affect Real Madrid’s `Clasico’ plans, Solari says

Uncertainty about Messi does not affect Real Madrid’s `Clasico’ plans, Solari says

Messi, who has suggested he would like to end his career at Barcelona, injured his thigh in that game but has been included in the squad for Wednesday's Copa semifinal first leg against Real Madrid. "When he decides, we will renew his deal". "If he is fit, he will play and if he is not, he will not play". The semi-final second leg will is scheduled for February 27, while a La Liga fixture follows soon after on March 2. I'm not big on taking risks when there are a lot of games ahead of us.

There is little doubt Benzema will start, as he has six goals in the last four matches.

"If La Liga ended tomorrow or if it was our last game, maybe [I would take a risk]. but if a player has an injury, whether it's Messi or not, I prefer to be careful".

Messi has been in typically imperious form this season, netting almost 30 goals in all competitions but Valverde says that Barcelona have enough firepower in their arsenal to overcome Real Madrid even if their captain isn't on the field. He finished the game, but it was unclear if he would be available for this match or if he would play.

Ousmane Dembele is close to recovering from an ankle injury.

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Messi did not take part in full training on Monday, but returned to join his team-mates on Tuesday for their final session. "Regardless of what the tests show and what the doctors say, if the player doesn't feel he is ready, you can't let him play". Then we'll make a decision.

Valverde admitted he might have to rotate his line-up given the number of important games coming up. We have Messi for many more years.

Dotted between are two legs against Lyon in the Champions League, the holy grail for Barcelona this season, and perhaps the one trophy they really crave after years of underachievement. They appear a team transformed since the 5-1 defeat by Barca in October.

"Generally we still play the same way, Leo didn't play in the league against them either". "In October they were going through a delicate period but now they are better".

"He worked separately yesterday but will train with the group today, we'll see how he goes, he could be in the squad".

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