Lionel Messi Left Out Of Barcelona’s 19-Man Champions League

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Barcelona have left Lionel Messi out of their 19-man squad to face Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Manager Ronald Koeman has decided to rest Messi and midfielder Frenkie de Jong for the Group G match in Ukraine, with fixtures coming thick and fast and a growing concern with injuries in the squad.

Koeman advised it was the right time to give the pair a break because they are in a good position in their group and need to focus on Laliga after a struggling start, which has left them 12th.

Messi has netted six goals in 11 games for Koemans side this season but five of those have come from the penalty spot.

Messi looked lackadaisical against Atletico Madrid and his reliance on penalties so far this season has seen questions asked about whether his waning influence in the final third is due to being overworked.

The club can ill afford another injury after Gerard Pique and Sergi Roberto joined Ansu Fati and Samuel Umtiti in the long-term absentee list.
Barcelona confirmed on Sunday that Pique, who went off against Atletico Madrid, has a grade-three sprain of his internal lateral ligament and a partial injury to his anterior cruciate ligament.

The Catalan clubs misery at suffering another Laliga defeat at the hands of Atletico on Saturday was made worse by the injuries suffered to the pair in their 1-0 reverse, with both players expected to be out for several months.

A win for Barca on Tuesday will secure a place in the knock-out stages for them as they already sit eight points ahead of their opponents on the night with three games still to play.

They have three wins from three in the Champions League this season, with wins over Ferencvaros, Juventus and Dynamo Kiev.

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