Lionel Messi and Dembele hand Barcelona fitness boost ahead of El Clasico

Puyol backs the plan to get Xavi on board. Image PA Images

However, it was not without cost as he needed treatment for what appeared to be a dead leg shortly after equalising and coach Ernesto Valverde... I can't say exactly what problem he has, I don't know.

Messi's absence at the Camp Nou would be a blow to Barcelona, particularly with the Argentinian in such blistering form. We will wait. I imagine it's nothing, but we'll wait a few hours. "We'll see if he can complete the session, if he will show that he is in condition to play".

Barca's French forward Ousmane Dembele is unlikely to be fit for the game, as he is still recovering from a hamstring injury.

Copa del Rey: Barcelona vs.

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

Real Madrid coach Santiago Solari had said earlier on Tuesday that he hoped Messi would be available. The games come think and fast for the Whites, who on Wednesday 13 visit Ajax as they kick off the knockout stages of the Champions League.

Freezing rain coming, ice on roads
It warns freezing rain Thursday and high winds early Friday could cause more problems, like downed wires or other safety hazards. Tuesday , however, is expected to see sunny skies and a forecast high of 5 C - eight degrees warmer than on Monday.

Injured Guptill out of India T20 series
Going ahead, India and New Zealand will square off in a three-match T20I series, which starts February 6 in Wellington. Notably, India had won the ODI series that followed the T20I series by a comfortable 3-1 margin.

Improving England are nowhere near their best, says Jones
And England weren't done, as Slade got his second after juggling an intercept from Sexton on the Irish try line to earn the bonus point win.

"When we prepare the game obviously we have the reference of the players and how they performed [in the 5-1], but there was a different morale [at Madrid] at that time, that counts for a lot".

'The most important thing is whether the player tells you he is ready or not.

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

The ex-Ajax ace has yet to score against Madrid in cup competitions, though, firing blanks in both legs of the Supercopa last season, despite playing a full part in both matches.

They face Madrid before travelling to Athletic Bilbao on Sunday, with Real Valladolid then due at Camp Nou before trips to Lyon in the Champions League and Sevilla in La Liga and back-to-back games at the Bernabeu in the Copa del Rey and the league.

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