Lionel Messi’s two game ban means he cannot play in Barcelona’s next matches. Some anticipated up to a four match penalty.
The first game is against Cornella in the Copa del Rey on Thursday. Ronald Koeman’s side visit Baix Llobregat after the minnows knocked out Atletico Madrid in the previous phase.
It’s likely a game Messi would have been rested for anyway after some recent hamstring issues.The next game is against Elche on Sunday at the Martinez Valero stadium.
They are in the relegation zone, at least ahead of their game against Valladolid on Tuesday. They have not won since week seven of the season.
Until now Messi has missed just one league game, against Eibar, a 1-1 draw. The other matches he has not featured in this season were Champions League fixtures. First against Dinamo Kiev (4-0 win on the road), then a 3-0 win at Ferencvaros. In the Spanish Super Cup semi he was also missing, and the team missed him even as they won on penalties against Real Sociedad.
Ironically he will back to face the team he was sent off against, Athletic Bilbao, on Jan 31.
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