Barcelona have announced their squad to face Real Betis on Sunday and there is still no Lionel Messi due to injury.
As noted by the Mirror, the Argentine talisman missed the opening La Liga game of the season with a calf strain, and despite being spotted training with the rest of the group this week, it seems as though he isn’t going to be risked this weekend.
It comes after Ousmane Dembele and Luis Suarez also picked up injury problems over the past week, and so it’s not what coach Ernesto Valverde needed, especially after they fell to defeat in the opening game away at Athletic Bilbao last time out.
As seen below, the Catalan giants named their squad for the clash with Betis, and there was no Messi again which led to a concerned reaction from many fans over how they would secure all three points without their star man.
Further, others took a different stance and believe that without him, Barcelona could struggle to secure a positive result and that in turn could put more pressure on Valverde, as they evidently have a desire to see him leave.
Time will tell who steps up in Messi’s absence to emerge as the key figure, but ultimately it’s a worrying start for Barcelona as they will be desperate to bounce back from last weekend’s disappointment but will have to do so with key individuals missing.
Suarez picked up his injury problem during the game against Bilbao, as noted by AS, with Barcelona now hoping that he and Messi can return in time to face Osasuna next weekend before the international break.
In their absence, perhaps it will be down to summer signing Antoine Griezmann to deliver and lead the charge for them as they hope to get their first points of the season on the board.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) August 24, 2019
No Messi to save Valverde I love it
— grim the best (@Papasene30) August 24, 2019
No Messi no party
— #VALVERDEOUT (@The_Cule1899) August 24, 2019
No #Messi no party ??
— Messi Legend10 (@rubensheffd03) August 24, 2019
no Messi no party
— ? (@iNumel_) August 24, 2019
No Messi nice one
If he loses sack him
— Kent Charis Mensah (@kent_charis) August 24, 2019
No Messi no party.
— A? (@m_10na) August 24, 2019
Fortunately Messi isn’t available for tomorrow’s match to save valverde’s ass
— mahmoud sayegh (@mahmoad12340000) August 24, 2019
Thank God no Messi #Valverde will be f**ked
— Ceasar (@Emperor_Czar) August 24, 2019
I need Messi to miss the next few games so we can sack Valverde
— Frank Ocean (@KnewBobby) August 24, 2019