Barcelona-Real Madrid combined XI

Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez

Lionel Messi has been left out of Barcelona's starting lineup for Wednesday's Copa del Rey semifinal match against Real Madrid.

Barcelona's talisman Lionel Messi is on the bench having not been deemed fit enough to start having picked up a leg injury against Valencia at the weekend. However, he completed Tuesday's session and was named among the 19 players called up for the first leg of the semifinal tie at Camp Nou.

"The most important thing is for the player to tell you that he is ready", coach Ernesto Valverde said. But Barca barely missed their talismanic forward, thrashing Real 5-1 in what proved to be Julen Lopetegui's last game in charge before Solari took over.

The next leg of the tie will be played on February 27 at the Bernabeu in Madrid. "In football, it's always best that the best players play in every game, that's just how it is", Solari said.

If Messi plays it will be because he is fit.

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Five seasons ago Real Madrid and Barcelona did not play each other in the cup.

Mijatovic believes Lucas Vazquez should be selected ahead of the Welshman. "It's one of the hardest parts of the job for a coach".

Most notable among Real's squad alterations has been the evolution of Vinicius Junior, who scored his first La Liga goal in Sunday's 3-0 win over Alaves.

Ronaldo of Real Madrid reacts after a red card during the Supercopa de Espana Supercopa Final 1st Leg match between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid at Camp Nou on August 13, 2017 in Barcelona, Spain. The 18-year-old Brazilian has added flair to the attack.

Keylor Navas has been the preferred one for the Copa del Rey and he will replace Thibaut Courtois in the line-up on Wednesday.

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