Messi doubt for Barcelona

A look ahead to the weekend's action in the Spanish Primera Division with Lionel Messi a doubt for Barcelona.

Last Updated: 22/08/13 at 18:32 Post Comment

Lionel Messi: Could miss out for Barcelona

Lionel Messi: Could miss out for Barcelona

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

A look ahead to the weekend's action in the Spanish Primera Division.

Barcelona may have to do without star man Lionel Messi because of injury as they travel to Malaga this weekend looking to build on the stunning start they made to their Primera Division title defence.

Messi scored twice in Barca's season-opening 7-0 thrashing of Levante but was substituted at half-time during Wednesday night's Supercopa draw with Atletico Madrid as a precaution after complaining of pain in the back of his left thigh.

Barca have confirmed Messi, who missed the end of last season with an ongoing injury to his right hamstring, had suffered bruising and was a doubt for the trip to Malaga.

If Gerardo Martino is not able to call on the four-time reigning world player of the year for the trip to La Rosaleda, it would be a significant boost for Malaga as the Andalusian side attempt to bounce back from their 1-0 defeat to Valencia.

However, Malaga defender Vitorino Antunes knows Barca have plenty more match-winners in their squad beyond the Argentinian, saying: "Messi is such a strong player, and if he's not in Sunday's line-up then it's better for us.

"Barcelona have other quality players though, and the team doesn't just rely on Messi."

The champions, unsurprisingly, lead the standings after the opening round of fixtures following their mauling of Levante.

The next two teams in the table, Rayo Vallecano and Atletico Madrid, meet at the Vicente Calderon on Sunday in a capital city derby.

Atletico have enjoyed a good start to the campaign, beating Sevilla 3-1 away last weekend before drawing 1-1 with Barca in the first leg of the Supercopa, and coach Diego Simeone is hoping to continue along the same path.

He said following the Supercopa match: "What we have seen tonight makes us think how we need to continue to work along this line."

Also on Sunday, Levante and Sevilla will be looking to get their campaigns up and running following their chastening defeats on the opening weekend while Real Betis play host to Celta Vigo.

On Monday night, Real Madrid travel to Granada hoping to avoid a repeat of last year's shock 1-0 defeat at Estadio Nuevo Los Carmenes.

Madrid needed a late winner from new signing Isco to beat 2-1 Betis at home last Sunday and Granada are hoping to make Carlo Ancelotti's men sweat once again.

Granada defender Diego Mainz said: "We've shown that we can beat them and we're going to try and repeat it. We're going to fight with everything from the first minute against them and if we can get the win then so much the better."

The second round of La Liga matches begins on Friday night with Getafe taking on Almeria with both teams looking for their first points while Athletic Bilbao play host to Osasuna.

On Saturday, Segunda Division champions Elche host a Real Sociedad side with confidence sky-high following their 2-0 Champions League play-off first leg win at Lyon in midweek, while Espanyol host Valencia and Real Valladolid go to Villarreal.


Sky Bet Free Bet Club: £10 free bet - £5 free every week


More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

D

on't go to England at your age, you'll either be mugged or not appreciated. Or made to lump the ball long to a bloke who looks like a mascot.

megabrow (cufc)
Beckenbauer warns Schweinsteiger

F

rom the headline I presumed he meant boots, pants, jim-jams, toothbrush and paste, passport, tickets, premier inn long-term package, Scouse-English-Portuguese-German dictionary, 'How to be a 9 and 3/4' by B. Rodgers, few dozen tins of food and Evian because you can never be sure about the local food/water...

KevinBoatang
Firmino has 'everything' for PL - Willian

H

e looked like he was playing with a plastic pound shop ball in the wind against Juve, his passing was so bad.

paddy7s
Sergio Ramos: Exactly What United Need

Footer 365

Liverpool could end Javi Manquillo's loan from Atletico Madrid early

Liverpool are discussing whether to terminate Javier Manquillo's loan deal and send him back to Atletico Madrid a year early.

Manchester United's Javier Hernandez out for four weeks after shoulder op

Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez should be fit to return towards the end of pre-season after having surgery on his fractured collarbone.

Nicolas Anelka named player-manager of Mumbai City

Nicolas Anelka has been named player-manager of Indian Super League team Mumbai City.

Mail Box

Women's Success Won't Alter Viewing Habits

The Women's World Cup hasn't inspired everyone. Also in the Mailbox: a plastic's guide to Brazil, Nani regrets, tears over Henry, and The Beach Boys...

Nani's Failure Still Leaves A Sour Taste

It's a decent afternoon Mailbox, with thoughts on Paulinho, Nani, the future of women's football and yet more of your annoyances. These will be the last of them...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company