Monday 23 April 2018

Messi is fighting fit for visit of Roma

Barcelona's Lionel Messi and teammates pictured during squad training. Photo: REUTERS/Albert Gea
Barcelona's Lionel Messi and teammates pictured during squad training. Photo: REUTERS/Albert Gea

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Lionel Messi is fit again and expected to start against Roma tonight after rising from the bench to rescue Barcelona a point in a 2-2 draw with Sevilla last Saturday.

Messi missed Argentina's friendlies during the international break, a muscular problem rulinghim out of a 2-0 win over Italy and a humiliating 6-1 thrashing by Spain in Madrid.

Thrown on by Ernesto Valverde just before the hour mark as Barcelona trailed Sevilla 2-0, Messi turned the tide in his team's favour and then drove home an 89th-minute equaliser from outside the area.

Barca expect to be at full strength, with Messi likely to be joined in the side by fit-again screening midfielder Sergio Busquets.

Roma - making their first appearance at this stage of the tournament in a decade - will be hoping to do significantly better than on their previous visit to the Nou Camp - a 6-1 group stage defeat in 2015.

The Italians will be without Cengiz Under, while midfielder Radja Nainggolan is rated 50-50.

Barcelona v Roma, Live BT Sport, 7.45

Irish Independent

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