Barcelona 3-4 Real Betis: Leaders stunned by expert display

Messi's reliability means Barcelona trust him to deliver titles- Alves

Dembele has yet to settle at Barca, and he this week angered the club over a non-appearance at training over a bout of gastroenteritis.

Messi has missed nearly three weeks of action with a fractured arm but was back in training this week and was named in Ernesto Valverde's 19-man squad for the match against Betis.

Spanish outlet Marca reported this week that the club are unhappy at the way the player informed them of his illness, and Valverde said on Saturday: "The talent that Dembele has is hard to find and we have to help him take advantage of it".

"I haven't lost patience with him, although everyone can interpret this as they wish".

"We want the best from every player in our team".

"The only thing we hope is that the team benefits from his talent and the club does too as they have made a great investment in him".

"The talent that Dembele has is hard to find and we have to help him take advantage of it", he said.

Valverde also confirmed goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen is fine to play, despite having been omitted from Germany's squad for the upcoming worldwide window to rest a minor shoulder injury.

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Messi's return would come as a major boost to Barca.

"Everyone who is selected is in good shape", Valverde said.

Umtiti has not been involved since September due to a knee problem, but Valverde is confident both players are now ready to be involved.

In order to achieve the feat by the end of the year, Messi must find the net four times in six games, with Real Betis, Atletico Madrid, Villarreal, Espanyol, Levante and Celta Vigo the sides standing in his way.

However, Selecao star, Philippe Coutinho will not be involved after suffering a hamstring strain.

Barcelona began the weekend three points clear at the top of La Liga, having won their last three league outings. "Far from being a problem, it is flawless to have more possibilities, we will see tomorrow who plays".

"We need to work hard to get the best out of his talent".

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