Lionel Messi absence vs Inter proved THIS about Champions League hopes

Image PA

Image PA

Messi is included in the squad to face Inter and while he might not start the match, he definitely can play a few minutes.

The voting processes ends on Friday, but claims have been made that Messi believes a final match-winning performance could sway the award in his favour.

Barcelona beat Inter 2-0 on October 24 at Nou Camp in the teams' first meeting of the season. "We know they will score many goals together again".

Malcom insisted he wanted to make history with Barcelona after scoring his first goal for the club in the 1-1 Champions League draw against Inter.

"With Lionel Messi on the bench all eyes will be on Mauro Icardi and his duel against opponent striker Luis Suarez and more generally speaking on the duel between his Inter against a Barcelona with tons of more experience".

Barca were without a win in four league games and defensive errors looked set to play havoc with their title challenge.

Behind the backline, Marc-Andre ter Stegen is an automatic selection to man the goal.

Ousmane Dembele had the game's first opportunity in the second minute, and the Frenchman's curling strike needed to be saved by Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic. Elsewhere, Ivan Rakitic, Arthur and Sergio Busquets are likely to maintain their places in midfield.

Barcelona train on Monday night in the Italian capital, after which Messi may receive his medical clearance from Barcelona's doctors. But, Messi has taken part in all of the training session, and should be named in the starting lineup so as to inspire Barcelona to a group clinching win.

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