La Liga: Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde hopeful Lionel Messi will be fit for Copa del Rey clash against Real Madrid

Agence France-Presse
Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde remains hopeful Lionel Messi will be fit to face Real Madrid in the first leg of the Copa del Rey semi-finals.

Barcelona: Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde remains hopeful Lionel Messi will be fit to face Real Madrid on Wednesday, despite the striker feeling a "small problem" during Saturday's 2-2 draw with Valencia.

Barcelona face Madrid in the first leg of the Copa del Rey semi-finals and Valverde said Messi had felt some discomfort against Valencia, after scoring twice to salvage his team a point.

"We have to wait until tomorrow to do the tests to see how he is, like the other players," Valverde said. "I don't know too much more. We hope he can recover, just like the others."

Asked what the problem was, Valverde said: "I don't know, I would like to tell you more but I don't know exactly.

"He had a little problem, as some of the others will have too. We will wait to see what the doctors tell us when they do the tests and we will look at it. I cannot guess anything but we imagine that it can't be too bad."

Messi's absence at the Camp Nou would be a blow to Barcelona, particularly with the Argentinian in such blistering form.

His double against Valencia means he has now scored in nine consecutive matches while registering a total of 12 goals in that period.

Barcelona might also be cautious, given they have a testing month of fixtures ahead. They play Madrid three times in the next four weeks, twice in the cup and once in La Liga.

There will also be two legs against Lyon to negotiate in the last 16 of the Champions League.

Also See: Copa del Rey: Lionel Messi, Philippe Coutinho star as Barcelona smash six goals past Sevilla to book semi-final spot

Copa del Rey semi-final against rejuvenated Real Madrid a 'very even' match, says Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde

La Liga: Lionel Messi scores in ninth consecutive match as his brace earns Barcelona comeback draw against Valencia

Read more on Sports by Firstpost.