Barcelona's Ernesto Valverde - Lionel Messi training but no decision on availability

Barcelona's Ernesto Valverde - Lionel Messi training but no decision on availability

Inter Milan have won seven straight Serie A games to move into second place, six points behind Juventus.

Messi, who missed Barcelona's 5-1 thrashing of Real Madrid in last Sunday's El Clasico which led to the sacking of Julen Lopetegui, was reportedly set to be absent for three weeks.

Barcelona are now top of Group B after winning all of their games in the Champions League, while opponents Inter sit in second - their only defeat coming against the Spanish side.

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Messi watched from the stands in the return fixture as Rafinha and Jordia Alba scored to give Barcelona a 2-0 victory. We expect them to have a little more pressing and pressure high up the pitch. The club have named Messi in their squad for the match at the San Siro, even if he is yet to be given the medical all-clear.

Barca will be without Thomas Vermaelen for the trip to Milan, while Lionel Messi and Samuel Umtiti are doubts.

Clement Lenglet headed over the Inter goal just before the hour as Barcelona came close once again, before Handanovic made a smart save to keep out an effort from Rakitic.

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Does FC Barcelona's ideal UEFA Champions League record represent something more substantive than a hot start?

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

Substitute Dembele got Barca out of trouble with a perfectly struck half-volley in the 87th minute after a knockdown by Pique.

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Upfront, Luis Suarez is another player who has stepped up in Messi's absence, and should be focal point of the Barcelona attack.

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