Messi benched for Deportivo Alaves v Barcelona

By Sports Desk April 23, 2019

Lionel Messi is on the bench for Barcelona's LaLiga game away to Deportivo Alaves on Tuesday.

Barcelona will be crowned champions this week if they beat Alaves and nearest LaLiga rivals Atletico Madrid lose at home to Valencia on Wednesday.

But they will have to face Alaves without their captain as Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho have been selected as support for striker Luis Suarez in Messi's absence.

Carles Alena is also in the Barcelona side, making his fifth LaLiga start of the season, with Arturo Vidal in midfield and Arthur alongside Messi and Jordi Alba on the bench.

Samuel Umtiti starts alongside Gerard Pique at the back, with Ivan Rakitic the main absentee for Barca. Sergi Roberto is expected to fill in at left-back.

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