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Lopetegui not focusing on Messi's Sevilla record ahead of Camp Nou trip

Sat 05 October 2019 | 14:17

Barcelona star Lionel Messi is in contention to start against Sevilla, but Julen Lopetegui is more focused on his own players.

Julen Lopetegui acknowledged Barcelona are a better team with a fit Lionel Messi, but insisted his Sevilla side can come away from Camp Nou with a positive result.

Messi completed his first 90 minutes of an injury-plagued campaign in Wednesday's 2-1 Champions League win against Inter.

The 32-year-old has started just two games this season because of calf and adductor problems but is in contention to play against Sevilla, a side he has scored 36 goals against in all competitions.

Lopetegui is more concerned about what he can control, however, with Sevilla heading into the match in Catalonia level on points with the reigning champions.

"I want to focus on my own players," he said at Saturday's pre-match news conference. "Barcelona are a great team and, if Messi is involved, they will be better because he can only improve the team.

"But we will try to give a great version of ourselves. We will go there with enthusiasm, desire and ambition. It's a game that will demand the best from us."

Sevilla have won just one of their last 24 LaLiga games against Barcelona and Lopetegui is fully aware of the size of the task awaiting his side.

"I hope for the best Barcelona," said the former Spain and Real Madrid boss. "They are at a great level and we are sure to see a great team, very good players and a very well-directed side. I have no doubt what we will find.

"Every game has to be played and we have to try to compete in the best way. The games have many moments and we have to know how to adapt and compete. That's where we have to focus".

source: SportMob