Lionel Messi Barcelona injury latest as Ernesto Valverde considers options

Barcelona star Lionel Messi looks set to be deployed against Granada, Ernesto Valverde has confirmed.

The Argentina international made his first appearance of the season against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League earlier this week.

Messi has been recovering from a calf injury since pre-season.

But he was give a second-half run out against Dortmund as the Catalans searched for a goal.

Despite the introduction of their influential superstar, Messi couldn’t make the difference and the game finished 0-0.

Barca travel to Granda tonight having beaten Valencia 5-2 in their last La Liga fixture.

Valverde has hinted that Messi will start.

“Messi played well against Dortmund, despite having been out for a while,” Valverde said.

“We hope that as he gets more minutes. He gives us a lot – like he always has.

“His presence changes things in the attack. Yes, we expect that he can play tomorrow.”

Messi is now 32 years old and has spent over a decade playing at the highest level.

Valverde admits he will have to manage his talisman’s game time.

“Last year he rotated like the rest of the players, and it caught attention because he started some games from the bench.

“This year the same will happen because it’s inevitable with this number of games.”

In their last two away fixtures in the league, Barca have drawn with Osasuna and lost to Athletic Bilabo.

Valverde admits they must rectify their issues away from the Nou Camp.

“When we are away from home, our level of effectiveness and possession decreases,” he added.

“It is costing us in that we are not getting the results we expect when playing away.

“Everything we have been doing well at home we forget to do away. We want to change this. We must be more forceful and decisive.”

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