Barcelona captain Lionel Messi identifies match for his return from injury 

Barcelona captain Lionel Messi was missing as the Blaugrana secured a 3-2 penalty shootout victory over Real Sociedad in the semifinal of the Spanish Super Cup.

However, according to a report by Marca, the Argentina international is looking to regain fitness in time for the final against either Real Madrid or Athletic Bilbao. The final of the Super Cup is scheduled to take place on Sunday at the La Cartuga in Seville and Barcelona will be hoping their talisman will be fit to play.

Lionel Messi seemingly picked up a knock in the closing stages of the 4-0 victory over Granada last weekend and he signaled to the bench to be taken off. It is understood that he is still feeling slight discomfort in the leg but there is optimism that he will feature in the final.

The Argentina international has been in fine form in recent weeks and has been the driving force behind the upsurge in Barcelona’s on-field fortunes. The Blaugrana are currently on a nine-game unbeaten run in all competitions and this form has seen them climb up to third in the La Liga standings.

Despite this, they still sit seven points behind table-toppers Atletico Madrid (who have two games in hand).

Progression to the Super Cup final offers Barcelona a chance to build on their momentum

Ronald Koeman has an opportunity to win his first trophy with Barcelona.
Ronald Koeman has an opportunity to win his first trophy with Barcelona.

Barcelona’s trophy-less 2020 campaign can be banished with a victory on Sunday. Given their current form, the Spanish giants will fancy their chances of getting the job done.

If Real Madrid progress at the expense of Athletic Bilbao, the capital side might pose more of a challenge than the Basque outfit. El Clasico fixtures generally do not follow trends or form while Zinedine Zidane’s record of having not lost a final as a manager could also factor in.

However, with Lionel Messi in their ranks, Barcelona always have an advantage over any side on the planet. If he is fit enough to play, the six-time Ballon d’Or winner could decide the outcome of the game like several others in the past.

After the Super Copa clash on Sunday, the Catalans will kickstart their Copa del Rey campaign with a trip to Segunda B side Cornella next Thursday. They will then return to La Liga action with a trip to Elche three days later.

Published 14 Jan 2021, 17:23 IST

Source: Sportskeeda

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