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Fitness: Barcelona Sweating Over Messi, Suarez

Barcelona have made a poor start in La Liga, currently lying down in eighth place. However, their plight has been hampered by the injuries of star men, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.

The pair scored a combined 76 goals last term in all competitions, regularly linking up to form one of the most formidable partnerships in world football.

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Only Suarez has featured so far this season, but was taken off after less than 40 minutes in Barca’s curtain-raiser against Athletic Bilbao.

Despite taking the international break to continue their recovery, the pair, both 32, aren’t expected to be fit to face Valencia on Saturday.

Messi is bouncing back from a calf injury he picked up shortly after returning for pre-season, having played for much of the summer at the Copa America.

The Argentine was expected to be back in action by now, and Barca have admitted that he is taking longer to recover than expected.

The five-time Balon d’Or winner’s return game could be the Champions League opener away at Borussia Dortmund on September 17.

Suarez, on the other hand, is thought to be nearing a return to full training.

The Uruguayan has also been struggling with a calf problem, but is coming to the end of his recuperation process.

Messi and Suarez both continued to work on their fitness on Tuesday, close to where the rest of squad was training.

However, neither is expected to start against Valencia on Saturday, though Suarez may be handed a place on the bench.

Antoine Griezmann is expected to continue to deputise up front, with Carles Perez and Sergi Roberto joining him in attack.

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The post Fitness: Barcelona Sweating Over Messi, Suarez appeared first on Independent Newspapers Nigeria.

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