Real Madrid coach Solari unhappy with Barcelona having extra day off

Elena Summers
February 6, 2019

"There is still one practice session left, we'll see how he's feeling", Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said.

Messi recieved a blow to the leg off Toni Lato during their 2-2 draw with Valencia on Saturday night and it left his availability up in the air as the muscular discomfort continued after the game and into the next couple of days.

"Would I prefer Messi to play?"

"It's always good when the best players get to play every game, but whether or not he plays will not influence the way we prepare for the game at all", Solari told a news conference on Tuesday.

Madrid were in disarray after the last meeting between these two Spanish giants as Barca moved back to the top of the table, seven points clear of ninth placed Madrid.

Valverde said he would make a final decision on Messi after consulting with the player and the club's medical team.

Solari, meanwhile, has practically a full squad at his disposal - including the in-form Karim Benzema and fully fit Gareth Bale - with only little-used defender Jesus Vallejo unavailable.

"They are usually strong at Camp Nou, they play well here".

Messi has scored in nine straight games in all competitions, and is the league leading scorer with 21 in 22 matches.

Real Madrid will be looking to avenge their 5-1 demolition in October that ultimately led to the dismissal of coach Julen Lopetegui.

Leo Messi was instrumental in Barcelona's Copa Del Rey matches, as usual, helping them overcome teams like Sevilla.

FC Barcelona will go into Wednesday's Clasico against Real Madrid with more rest.

Ousmane Dembele, who had trained separately on Monday, also re-joined his teammates in Tuesday's practice, but he was not included in the squad list for Wednesday's game.

Valverde said his team won't change the way it plays if Messi is absent, and that his participation shouldn't be seen as a key factor.

The first leg of the semifinal in the Copa del Rey is the first of three matches between the rivals in less than a month.

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