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Why FC Barcelona's overdependency on Messi can spell danger for the Blaugrana

06 February 2019

"If La Liga ended tomorrow or if it was our last game, maybe [I would take a risk]. but if a player has an injury, whether it's Messi or not, I prefer to be careful".

"I hope not, although it is curious to say the least", Solari said.

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

People at Barcelona will be relieved with last Saturday's hard-fought draw but it also depicted how much Barcelona rely on Leo Messi.

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"We did not play well in the first half but then we showed our character and we dominated", said Barca midfielder Ivan Rakitic.

Suarez also failed to find the net in his only meeting against Los Blancos with another club, finding himself on the end of a 4-0 thrashing in November 2010's Champions League group tie at the Amsterdam ArenA.

In addition, Frenchman Ousmane Dembele returned to training on Tuesday after battling hamstring injury in the past days.

Barcelona face Real Madrid in the first leg of their quarter-final showdown next week. Against Sevilla, they went all out last week to claim a 6-1 win and turn a first leg's deficit in the Copa del Rey, whereas over the weekend, they had to come from two goals down to pick up a point against a resolute Valencia side. "The most important thing is the player tells you he is ready".

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"We put in a massive effort, it's not easy to play against Valencia who were feeling more confident after their recent results".

Real Madrid: Improvement is what's on this team's mind, showing something better than in the first match of the season.

Asked at the prematch news conference in Madrid whether he wanted his fellow Argentine to be available for Wednesday's game, Solari said it would be best for the spectacle for Messi to feature.

However, the dropped points leaves the door open for Atletico Madrid to close the gap on the La Liga leaders, who they trail by six ahead of their match with Real Betis on Sunday.

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Why FC Barcelona's overdependency on Messi can spell danger for the Blaugrana