The diminutive Argentinian is in fine form but suffered a minor leg injury in Saturday's La Liga draw with Valencia. After drawing one each at the Santiago Bernabéu in the first leg, Real Madrid went through at the Camp Nou, where they won 3-1.
Messi was out with a broken arm in the last Clasico in October, but Barcelona barely missed him, thrashing Real 5-1 in what proved to be Julen Lopetegui's last game in charge of Real.
But Barcelona remain stronger now and I expect them to win and take a good lead into the second leg, on their way to the Copa del Rey Final. There is no favorite in a semi-final between Barca and Madrid, it is an open game, we have great players and among them is the man we think is the best player in the world. "If Messi's ready he will play, if he's not he won't".
beIN SPORTS will broadcast the Barcelona versus Real Madrid game in English and beIN SPORTS en Español will do so in Spanish in the United States. Solari has all of his best forwards, including an in-form Karim Benzema, the quickly maturing Vinicius Junior, and a fully fit Gareth Bale. "It's one of the hardest parts of the job for a coach".
Barcelona's preparation for the Copa del Rey semi-final opener have been marred by a mini injury crisis which has seen Ousmane Dembele, Jasper Cillessen, Samuel Umtiti and Rafinha all ruled out.
"Real Madrid usually play well at the Camp Nou", Valverde said. The French striker has 18 goals, six more than he had in all of last season.
'If our coaches asked us for a player and they want to leave Madrid, of course we would sign them, ' Bartomeu told El Partidazo de COPE.
Ahead of a Copa America campaign later this year, Argentina are scheduled to face Venezuela and Morocco in friendlies next month.