Madrid boss Solari unhappy with scheduling ahead of Copa Clasicos

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi

Messi was hurt when Barcelona drew with Valencia 2-2 at home, a result that halted the team's eight-game winning streak in the Spanish league.

All eyes leading up to the game are on Lionel Messi and if the Argentine will play.

Barca's French forward Ousmane Dembele is unlikely to be fit for the game, as he is still recovering from a hamstring injury.

While Messi trained on Tuesday evening, Barca coach Ernesto Valverde would not be drawn on whether the 31-year-old would be risked but he was included in the squad.

"Now he's calmer and he's an important player for us, but it's a shame because of the level he was showing".

And the suspense about Messi's right leg injury entered a third day on Tuesday, with Barca still quiet about the full extent of the problem and not saying whether he will be available.

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Coutinho has a chance to impress tonight when Barcelona host bitter rivals Real Madrid in their Copa del Rey semi-final first leg tie. Against Sevilla, they went all out last week to claim a 6-1 win and turn a first leg's deficit in the Copa del Rey, whereas over the weekend, they had to come from two goals down to pick up a point against a resolute Valencia side. We'll make a decision based on that.

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.

"I don't think it (Messi playing or not) changes which team will be considered the favorite", he said.

Valverde admitted he might have to rotate his line-up given the number of important games coming up. The other attacking spot will be up for grabs for Gareth Bale and Marco Asensio, although it seems likely that Vinicius Junior will be starting for Real Madrid down the left. "We are in a decisive part of the season". We have the player we believe is the best in world but they also have great players.

"I don't think there is a favorite in a semifinal between Barcelona and Real Madrid".

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