Ernesto Valverde is hoping to finally unleash Lionel Messi on La Liga this weekend as the talismanic Argentine appears likely to feature in Barcelona‘s away trip to Granada.
The reigning champions, currently in fifth place, are struggling away from the Camp Nou and are winless so far this season with a 2-2 draw against Osasuna, and a 1-0 defeat against Athletic Bilbao.
Valverde’s side also drew 0-0 against Borussia Dortmund in their Champions League opener in midweek and were indebted to Marc-Andre ter Stegen’s penalty save from Marco Reus, while the hosts also rattled the crossbar.
Messi, who played his first minutes of the season against Dortmund, is set to start on Saturday evening.
“I saw him well despite the difficulty of the game and because he was playing after such a long period out of the pitch,” Valverde said of Messi’s cameo off the bench in Germany.
“He did not play during the pre-season, so he was not in the best possible shape to play a very physical game. He showed up in the game and in general he was fine.
“Of course, as soon as he’ll play more games, he will get a better shape, and will add more things to the team. We hope he will play tomorrow.”
Newly promoted Granada have won two games so far this season (against Celta Vigo and Espanyol), drew one (Villarreal), and lost one (Sevilla), scoring nine and conceding five goals.
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