Lionel Messi injury: Barcelona scared striker could miss Real Madrid showdown

Puyol backs the plan to get Xavi on board. Image PA Images

But a foul by Toni Lato led to Messi halving the hosts' deficit six minutes before the interval with a spot kick of his own as the teams went to the dressing room with Valencia leading 2-1. "I cannot guess anything but we imagine that it can't be too bad".

The ex-Ajax ace has yet to score against Madrid in cup competitions, though, firing blanks in both legs of the Supercopa last season, despite playing a full part in both matches. However, he completed Tuesday's session and has been named among the 19 players called up for the first leg of the semifinal tie at Camp Nou.

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

It is unclear whether Messi - the all-time Clasico top scorer - will be fit for the game after ending Barcelona's 2-2 draw with Valencia at the weekend with a knock.

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Marks is also a person of interest in the 2009 disappearance of April Pease, a Washington state woman who had a child with Marks. Hartley said Marks' and Pease's son was placed into protective custody in 2009 and he doesn't know the son's current location.

Brazilian defender Marcelo is the second player Juventus will want to sign, and his signing is expected to make Ronaldo happy considering how close he is with Marcelo in Spain. Messi can't raise his game in the same way for Argentina.

Messi missed out on October's 5-1 win, a result that contributed to the sacking of Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui, and Valverde is enticed by the prospect of the clash.

"I don't think it changes anything", he added when asked how a hypothetical Messi absence could influence proceedings. If he's in good shape, he'll play on Wednesday. We have the player we believe is the best in world but they also have great players. "The most important thing is the player tells you he is ready".

Madrid trail Barcelona by 11 points in the league, though they do have a game in hand on the Catalans. However, Real Madrid are a lot steadier than they were back then. The Madrid coach assured that "so much more [rest] is curious, but we don't come up with [the scheduling]", in a clear reference to La Liga.

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