Barca is to meet Atletico Madrid this Sunday without Leo Messi recuperating from an adductor strain. Pep Guardiola does not want to take a chance and aggravate his injury. He is likely to rest Thierry Henry and Zlatan Ibrahimovic also recovering from injuries.
Messi is also requesting Pep Guardiola time off to prepare for the colossal Argentina Brazil World Cup qualifier that takes place September 5th which means he will miss the Liga opener against Sporting Gijon. He will play till the 28th and then fly to Buenos Aires to train with the Argentine squad before they take on Brazil.
Argentina is precariously poised in fourth place just ahead of Ecuador and Maradona will be counting on Messi's services to pull of a win against the Brazilians who occupy the top spot in the South American zone.