Messi fit for Malaga tie

MADRID. — Lionel Messi is expected to be fit as Barcelona make the tricky trip to Malaga today looking to move back to the top of the Spanish La Liga soccer table.

Messi missed Wednesday’s 2-1 Copa del Rey win at Athletic Bilbao due to a hamstring problem that forced him off at half-time in a 6-0 rout of the same opponents last weekend, but returned to training on Thursday.

Barca will also have Luis Suarez back after he completed a two-game Cup ban in midweek as they look to exact revenge on the only side that stopped the European champions from scoring in their two meetings last season. Malaga took four points from a possible six against Barca in La Liga last season and were only defeated 1-0 thanks to Thomas Vermaelen’s late strike when the two sides met at the Camp Nou earlier this campaign. “We need to rest well because against Malaga we have had difficult games,” said Barca midfielder Ivan Rakitic. “We need to have a lot of respect for them.” — AFP.


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