Messi in Barcelona squad to face Inter Milan despite fractured arm

Image PA

Image PA

Barcelona captain Messi missed his team's 2-0 defeat of Inter two weeks ago, with Rafinha deputising and scoring against his old club in the Group B meeting.

Inter need a win to all but book their passage to the last 16 in a group which also includes Tottenham and PSV Eindhoven.

Barcelona have even been playing well without the talents of Lionel Messi, who has been out for a couple of weeks after breaking his arm. It will be a very tough game and there will be a lot at stake, because the prize is an important one.

Barca will be without Thomas Vermaelen for the trip to Milan, while Lionel Messi and Samuel Umtiti are doubts. Umtiti has returned to training but is still not fully match fit yet, meaning Gerard Pique and Clement Lenglet will start at the heart of the defence once again.

Circumstances have helped. After Inter, came Real, who were in a mess, Cultural Leonesa, who play in Spain's third tier, and Rayo Vallecano, who are 19th in the table. But putting Borja Valero on the pitch from the first minute is something that is yet to be decided: "Compared to the game last Saturday Vrsaljko, Asamoah and Icardi will return as starting players and Matteo Politano should get the nod over Antonio Candreva".

Upfront, Luis Suarez is another player who has stepped up in Messi's absence, and should be focal point of the Barcelona attack.

The captain, beaten in the 2014 World Cup final and two Copa America finals, has yet to confirm when he may return to global action and is not in the squad for an upcoming double-header of friendlies against Mexico.

The Argentinean wizard had not received the medical all-clear before travelling to Milan.

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