Messi ready as Barca drop Dembele

Credit PA

Credit PA

Umtiti has not been involved since September due to a knee problem, but Valverde is confident both players are now ready to be involved.

Messi has missed nearly three weeks of action with a fractured arm but was back in training this week and was named in Ernesto Valverde's 19-man squad for the match against Betis. After being left out of the squad to face Inter Milan midweek, the Argentine took part in another full training session today as he steps up his fitness.

LaLiga leaders Barca have received a double injury boost for the clash at Camp Nou with both Messi and centre-back Samuel Umtiti fit to play.

Asked if he could play 90 minutes against Betis, Valverde said: "We will see, but he's lost his fear of falling or struggling against an opponent".

"You have to get that out of your head, you can not be thinking if you are about to make a bad movement".

The France international's absence from training was reportedly due to his phone running out of battery, meaning it took an hour-and-a-half for him to notify the club of a stomach bug.

He survived the Thousand Oaks shooting and the Las Vegas massacre
Last year, a country music festival in Las Vegas was the scene of the worst mass shooting in modern United States history. He touched so many people, his father said. "I am in the dark right now, and it's actually tearing me up", he said.

Messi's absence should have been a golden opportunity for Dembele but the winger's form has been mixed in recent weeks, while Luis Suarez, Philippe Coutinho, Rafinha and Malcom have all impressed.

"We want the best from every player in our team".

Dembele's latest indiscretion has led to further speculation over the long-term future of the €105m signing from Borussia Dortmund, but Valverde said he remained keen to help him realise his potential.

"It is great news that Lenglet has shown his level", Valverde said.

Barcelona began the weekend three points clear at the top of La Liga, having won their last three league outings.

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