Barcelona didn’t enjoy a great start to the new La Liga season last weekend, and they’ll be hoping for better against Real Betis on Sunday night.
The Catalan giants made a losing start to the defence of their league crown, slipping to a 1-0 defeat to Athletic Bilbao after a stunning late goal from Aritz Aduriz.
In turn, coach Ernesto Valverde will be looking for a response from his players to bounce back and start to build some momentum early on, but it won’t be easy against Betis.
Nevertheless, having their talisman back available will be a major boost and a big help in overcoming the next challenge, and they could be in line to see him return as Lionel Messi has stepped up his recovery from injury this week.
As seen in the video below, the 32-year-old was involved with the rest of the group as the club confirmed through a series of tweets that he has resumed full training, and so it remains to be seen if he has recovered sufficiently and is sharp enough to start the game this weekend.
Messi has been struggling with a calf injury that he picked up towards the back end of pre-season, and with both Ousmane Dembele and Luis Suarez also suffering setbacks this past week, Valverde will undoubtedly breathe a huge sigh of relief if Messi is back.
That in turn could see him partner up with summer signing Antoine Griezmann in the final third, but naturally time will tell if Messi is risked, or if the medical staff at Barcelona believe that he should be given more time to recover to avoid aggravating that calf problem.
Based on his movement in training in the video below though, it certainly looks promising for Barcelona fans as they’ll be desperate to see him back in action this weekend.
Good to see you back with the ball, Leo ? pic.twitter.com/Kv38od9jma
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) August 21, 2019