Barcelona head coach, Ernesto Valverde has stated that he would not be risking Argentina captain Lionel Messi against Inter Milan.
The Catalan giants square off against the former Champions League winners on Tuesday
Messi sustained an injury against Sevilla on October 20th and went on to miss his side’s dramatic 5-0 win over Real Madrid in the El Clasico.
The diminutive striker is close to a return, but his coach reckons that the game against Inter Milan is still too early
“Leo is at the point where he could be available, but we have to wait. It depends on training,” Valverde told a news conference.
“There are three or four options, but we will not take risks [with Messi].
“I think it’s better if he’s there. More than anything because he is one more [player] and so we have more to choose from. Of course, it is necessary for Messi to recover.”
While a win over Inter will propel them to the top, Valverde expects a stern test from the Italians in this game
“To already be in this situation in the fourth game of the group is great. But I do not want to take too many risks. We are going to prepare for the game. We would like to win, of course.
“We need to control the game to try to reach the goal. It’s the same for Inter. But you also have to be forceful.
“We’re expecting a similar opponent to the one we had at Camp Nou – definitely more aggressive because of the pressure [on them].
“Inter have good intensity, they want to dominate the game and press high. That’s why they’ve had such a good run this season. We expect a better Inter.”