By 90Min
August 25, 2019

Barcelona have confirmed that Lionel Messi will not be part of the squad to face Real Betis on Sunday, with the Argentine still recovering from a calf injury.

Messi missed the pre-season tour of the United States after picking up the injury, and he was forced to watch Barcelona's 1-0 defeat to Athletic Club in the La Liga opener from the stands after failing to recover in time.

It had been hoped that he would be fit enough to feature against Betis, but Barcelona confirmed their matchday squad on Twitter and Messi is nowhere to be seen.

Manager Ernesto Valverde had previously hinted that Messi would be evaluated before the game, but the winger was forced to miss training on Saturday as a result of the injury, so Valverde has clearly decided not to risk Messi.

The Blaugrana are in the midst of a real injury crisis in attack. Alongside Messi, both Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele are sidelined, and Philippe Coutinho's loan move to Bayern Munich has left Valverde with few options in attack.

Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/GettyImages

Antoine Griezmann will likely start the game, whilst youngsters Carles Perez and 16-year-old Ansu Fati have both been called up.

Valverde will be hoping to see his side bounce back from the shock 1-0 defeat to Athletic, as they look to finally get their La Liga campaign up and running with a victory at Camp Nou on Sunday. 

Rivals Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid have both picked up points already this season, so Barcelona will be wary of giving them too much of a head start.

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