Lionel Messi | Picture: UEFA.com

Lionel Messi has been left out of Barcelona’s squad for their game against Real Betis on Sunday.

The Argentine will miss Barcelona’s first home game of the La Liga season due to a calf injury.

Messi also missed Barca’s first game of the season which ended in 1-0 defeat at the hands of Athletic Bilbao.

Earlier this week, Messi returned to training but wasn’t a part of the last training session before the game on Saturday.

Alongside Messi, Barcelona will be without Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele.

Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde said in a press conference that we cannot afford to take any risk with him.

“If he is not 100 per cent fit then we will not take any risks with him,” said Valverde.

In the absence of Messi and others, the pressure suddenly piles up on Barcelona’s summer Signing Antoine Griezmann. The Frenchmenstruggled on his debut and had a difficult outing.

Valverde said that Griezmann is improving but he needs to involve himself in the team’s play.

Valverde also said that Real Betis are a strong side with a good bunch of players. He added by saying that the Los Verdiblancos have the quality to be at the top.

”Betis are a team that have the strengths to be near the top,” Valverde said in Spanish.

Real Betis defeated Barcelona 4-3 at the Camp Nou last season, their only home defeat of the season.

 

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