Barca silent on Messi injury, Madrid all fit for Copa semi

Match Preview - Barcelona vs R Madrid | 06 Feb 2019

Ousmane Dembele is close to recovering from an ankle injury.

Messi suffered knock in Saturday's La Liga clash with Vancia that ended in a 2-2 draw.

"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.

It is unclear whether Messi, the all-time top goalscorer in Spanish football, as well as in the "Clasico", will be fit for the game.

Barca are seeking to win the Copa del Rey for the fifth year in a row, but they will have to triumph against rivals Madrid if they are to reach the final again.

Valverde said he would make a final decision on Messi after consulting with the player and the club's medical team. Solari has all of his best forwards, including an in-form Karim Benzema, the quickly maturing Vinicius Junior, and a fully fit Gareth Bale. "It's one of the hardest parts of the job for a coach".

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

Asked later whether doubt over Messi's participation would affect his side's preparation for the game, Solari smiled and added: "Not at all".

He missed Barcelona's 5-1 league rout of Madrid in October because of a broken right arm.

"I don't think it (Messi playing or not) changes which team will be considered the favorite", he said. "We expect the best version of Madrid on Wednesday, as we have seen in recent weeks".

The Argentinian missed training on Monday but was back with the squad on Tuesday evening.

Having a player of Lionel Messi's extraterrestrial caliber at one's disposal is obviously a privilege but rest of the Barcelona teammates needs to share responsibilities at crunch times.

Barcelona also have a higher average number of goals without him against their fierce rivals, than when he is on the pitch, albeit he has only been absent from three games.

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