Isco? We'd certainly talk to Madrid — Barça's Bartomeu

Thursday, 07 Feb, 2019

Barcelona host El Clasico rivals Real Madrid as the pair meet at the Nou Camp in the opening leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final on Wednesday.

Lionel Messi has been included in Barca's squad despite being hurt during their 2-2 draw against Valencia on Saturday, but Mijatovic doubts any risks will be taken with the five-time Ballon d'Or victor.

The Argentine superstar took part in Tuesday evening's training session and came away from it feeling okay, so everything is pointing towards Messi playing; the doubt surrounds whether that is as a starter or from the bench.

"The most important thing is for the player to tell you that he is ready", coach Ernesto Valverde said.

Ricardo De Burgos Bengoetxea will be the referee for Wednesday's, February mouthwatering Copa Del Rey El Clasico pitting Barcelona against Real Madrid.

"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 he is fit, he will play and if he is not, he will not play". The previous Clásicos played in this competition have seen the Whites coming out on top, having not lost in the last four matches.

Messi has a terrific scoring record against Real Madrid with 26 goals and 14 assists in 38 games.

Interestingly, the 42-year-old claimed his job at the White House within 24 hours after Julen Lopetegui's side was humbled 5-1 by the Catalans.

Few would say that Madrid would be just a few points behind Barcelona at La Liga and on Copa del Rey semi-final a few months ago, but Santiago Solari's team have recovered well.