Barcelona host Real Madrid at the Nou Camp in the Copa del Rey semi-finals on Wednesday night, and they’ve now confirmed their squad to face their rivals.
The two sides meet for the first leg this week, with the return leg set for February 27 as they both eye a place in the final and a chance to land silverware.
As noted by Marca, Barcelona had injury concerns over both Lionel Messi and Ousmane Dembele, and although both were spotted taking part in training with the rest of the group on Tuesday, the latter has not been risked.
As per the club’s tweet below, Messi has shaken off that issue he picked up during the draw with Valencia at the weekend and is included in the squad to face Real Madrid, but there is no place for Dembele who will seemingly continue his recovery.
In truth, it remains to be seen whether or not Messi is actually risked if he is still feeling the effects of the knock he sustained last time out, as coach Ernesto Valverde will surely not take any chances with his talisman and risk seeing him sidelined with plenty of important games across all competitions coming up.
Messi has scored 29 goals and provided 17 assists in 27 appearances so far this season, and so that indicates just how pivotal he will be as Barcelona reach the business end of the campaign with major honours on the line.
As they continue to lead the way in La Liga and with the Champions League returning this month, Valverde will perhaps still have to make a crucial decision if Messi hasn’t fully recovered from his injury concern at the weekend.
Nevertheless, he has been selected in the squad which is a positive sign in itself for Barcelona fans.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) February 5, 2019