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Barcelona have named Lionel Messi in the squad to face Real Madrid in Wednesday's Copa del Rey semi-final first leg, but will "wait until the last moment" to decide if he plays.

All eyes leading up to the game are on Lionel Messi and if the Argentine will play.

Just like Barcelona's No.10, Dembele trained like normal with his teammates in the opening 15 minutes and could be a surprise inclusion in the line-up, given the Frenchman has not yet played since injuring his ankle against Leganes.

Madrid arrives for the match at Camp Nou enjoying its best period of the season and with almost all of its players available. "I am not very supportive of taking risks when there are so many games ahead", Valverde said. Although the statistic is quite staggering, Ernesto Valverde, will be wary of what the over dependency on one man can cost as we progress to the end of the season.

Real Madrid coach Santiago Solari had said earlier on Tuesday that he hoped Messi would be available. If it was the last game of the league it would be a different question.

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"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 said. "If Messi's ready he will play, if he's not he won't". "Then you have a decision to make and you have to weigh up the pros and cons".

"It was already complicated in January but with this semi-final at a very high level, more league games, more games in the Champions League knock-out stages, we have to walk a fine line".

Madrid sit eight points adrift of Barcelona in La Liga but have won their last five games in a row in all competitions.

But the way Barca play allows them to save energy more than other clubs as they have great ball possession and force their opponents to run a lot.

The teams have already met once this season, with the Catalan club defeating their bitter rivals 5-1 in a LaLiga fixture at the Camp Nou in October.


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