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by on April 16, 2019 Read Time: 1 minute, 56 seconds
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The Argentina international is fully fit and raring to go against the Premier League side on Tuesday night in European competition.

Lionel Messi is fully fit to face Manchester United and ready to end his long drought in the Champions League quarter-finals, according to Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde.

Star forward Messi skipped the weekend draw against Huesca after an accidental elbow from Chris Smalling left him with a bloody nose and a bruised eye at Old Trafford last week.

The La Liga club returned from Manchester with a 1-0 advantage, giving them a useful cushion as they look to seal their progression at Camp Nou on Tuesday.

Messis presence in the starting XI serves as a significant boost but the 31-year-old has not scored at this stage of the competition since 2013, a streak spanning 12 quarter-final appearances.

That means hes closer to scoring again, Valverde replied at Mondays media conference when asked about Messis barren run.

Statistics tell you about the past, but not the future. We dont know whats going to happen and thats an incentive for everyone.

Hes fine after the knock he had. Hes in perfect shape for tomorrow.
Ousmane Dembele, an unused substitute in the first leg, is in contention to join Messi and Luis Suarez in Barcelonas attack.

The 21-year-old France winger completed over an hour on his return from a hamstring injury against Huesca and could start on Tuesday.

He didnt play for four weeks but he will be able to participate in this game, Valverde said.

Were not sure for how long. He played for around 70 minutes the other day and played well. He might start and he might not.

Much of the belief that United can overturn the first-leg deficit has centred on the Premier League clubs impressive last-16 fightback against Paris Saint-Germain, as well as their famous triumph over Bayern Munich in the 1999 final when now-manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer scored a stoppage-time winner at Camp Nou.

Valverde, however, cares little for the influence of history.

Im more about writing my own destiny, he said. Tomorrow we have to write our own destiny and so do Manchester United.

Theres no fear, just tremendous excitement. Were ready to go through knowing anything can happen. I think were all aware a tough game awaits and were all looking forward to it.

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