Real Madrid boss Solari wants Barcelona's Messi to play in Clasico

Real Madrid boss Solari wants Barcelona's Messi to play in Clasico

Real Madrid boss Solari wants Barcelona's Messi to play in Clasico

"They are usually strong at Camp Nou, they play well here".

"I have not seen Leo Messi, we will see how it is, if it can be done, if it can be completed and if he is fit".

"It's always good when the best players get to play every game, but whether or not he plays will not influence the way we prepare for the game at all", Solari told a news conference on Tuesday.

Solari, meanwhile, has practically a full squad at his disposal - including the in-form Karim Benzema and fully fit Gareth Bale - with only little-used defender Jesus Vallejo unavailable.

Barcelona's last few outings have been hectic and demanding to say the least. Barcelona will obviously look to win every competition they are a part of to maintain their sky-high standards and over dependency on one man's genius can be harmful. The French striker has 18 goals, six more than he had in all of last season.

He had ended Barca's 2-2 draw with Valencia on Saturday with a knock.

The Spanish giants return to Champions League duty against Lyon and Valverde will want Messi fit to play the unsafe French side, who inflicted a first defeat on leaders Paris St-Germain last weekend.

Barca are seeking to win the Copa del Rey for the fifth year in a row, but they will have to triumph against rivals Madrid if they are to reach the final again. The Argentine is the top scorer in La Liga with 21 goals and has scored in his last nine appearances, but Barca beat Madrid 5-1 without him earlier this season.

Valverde indicated he would be cautious with Messi's fitness. But Barcelona face a crucial test as they will play against Real Madrid three times in the span of a month amidst their Champions League fixtures.

"I don't think it (Messi playing or not) changes which team will be considered the favorite", he said.

He was rested two weeks ago when Barcelona lost at Sevilla 2-0 in the Copa quarterfinal first leg, but returned to score in a 6-1 second leg victory.

Ousmane Dembele, who had trained separately on Monday, also re-joined his teammates in Tuesday's practice, but he was not included in the squad list for Wednesday's game.

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