Messi injured and set to miss Barcelona v Real Betis: team news and predicted line-ups with Suarez missing – The Sun
BARCELONA face have to take a major decision on whether to gamble on the fitness of Lionel Messi for their clash with Real Betis.
The La Liga champions entertain Betis tonight having suffered a shock defeat in the first game of the season against Athletic Bilbao.
But Messi is struggling to be fit for the match at the Nou Camp having only just returned to training from injury.
That calf strain forced him to miss the defeat in Bilbao, when Barca produced a below-par display on the way to a 1-0 defeat.
To make matters worse, Luis Suarez suffered an injury earlier in that game which has already ruled him out this week.
And with Ousmane Dembele also struggling with a hamstring injury, it leaves Barca well short of options in attack.
Having allowed Philippe Coutinho to join Bayern Munich, Barca's only fit and proven forward is new signing Antoine Greizmann.
Boss Ernesto Valverde knows if Suarez was fit he would be unlikely to take any chances with Messi's fitness.
But with few options available, he is now facing a major dilemma over whether to risk his talisman by starting him today.
There is also a slight concern over the fitness of Rafinha, who would be expected to play on the left side of an attacking three.
The Brazilian has been struck down with a stomach complaint during the week but Barca are hopeful of him being able to start.
Likely starting side: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Pique, Lenglet, Alba; Busquets, Rakitic, De Jong; Rafinha, Perez, Greizmann
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