Lionel Messi set to make Barcelona return from broken arm against Real Betis

Lionel Messi is set to make his Barcelona return against Real Betis on Sunday.

The Argentine hasn’t played since breaking his arm in the win over Sevilla in October.

He has been training this week though and Barca have confirmed he will be in the squad for this weekend’s encounter in a real boost to the La Liga leaders.

There is more good news for Barca boss Ernesto Valverde with Samuel Umtiti also named in the squad.

The World Cup winner hasn’t featured since September due to ongoing knee problems and was not expected to be fit until after the upcoming international break.

Lionel Messi arrives
(Image: Enric Fontcuberta/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)
Lionel Messi in training
(Image: Enric Fontcuberta/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

Gerard Pique and Clement Lenglet have impressed in central defence in Umtiti’s absence.

But the Frenchman is back in the frame this weekend although a place on the bench is more likely.

While Messi and Umtiti are included, Barca will be without Ousmane Dembele for Sunday’s clash with Betis.

The French winger has been struggling with a stomach bug this week and missed a number of training sessions.

Ter Stegen in action
(Image: Enric Fontcuberta/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)
Barcelona’s players in training
(Image: Enric Fontcuberta/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

Mundo Deportivo report Dembele has angered staff by not informing them he would not be in training.

It is suggested Barca tried to call Dembele to check his whereabouts but he didn’t answer, much to the frustration of Valverde’s backroom staff.

Last month it was reported that Dembele – a £105m arrival from Borussia Dortmund last summer – was frequently angering the club’s staff due to his attitude .

He will not be risked this weekend with Malcom included in the squad and pushing for a start after his goal against Inter in midweek.

Barcelona squad

Ter Stegen, Cillessen, Semedo, Pique, Umtiti, Lenglet, Alba, Roberto, Rakitic, Busquets, D Suarez, Arthur, Vidal, Alena, Rafinha, Malcom, Messi, L Suarez, Munir