Ernesto Valverde has indicated Lionel Messi and Samuel Umtiti are both ready to return for Barcelona against Real Betis on Sunday but Ousmane Dembele has been dropped.
Messi has been out since breaking his arm against Sevilla on the twentieth of October while Umtiti has been nursing a knee problem and has not played since the twenty-sixth of September. Both are included in the squad to face Betis in La Liga this weekend but there was a surprise omission for Dembele.
Valverde said the twenty-one-year-old had been left out after a “sporting assessment”.
Messi’s return would come as a major boost to Barca. Their captain was included in the travelling squad to face Inter Milan on Wednesday but was not deemed fit enough even for the bench.