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Bale is one of the many Madrid players who have recovered from injury in recent days, along with other forwards Mariano Diaz and Marco Asensio. Although the statistic is quite staggering, Ernesto Valverde, will be wary of what the over dependency on one man can cost as we progress to the end of the season.

There were fears Messi would miss the match with a thigh injury, which he picked up last weekend in Barca's 2-2 draw with Valencia.

Messi's pedigree is undeniable and he is the all-time leading scorer in this fixture with 25 goals.

Real Madrid will be looking to avenge their 5-1 demolition in October that ultimately led to the dismissal of coach Julen Lopetegui.

Trips to Athletic Bilbao and Sevilla are also in the diary for La Liga leaders Barca this month.

"Messi is in the Barcelona squad for the Copa del Rey Clasico", Balague tweeted on Tuesday night.

It is unclear whether Messi, the all-time top goalscorer in Spanish football, as well as in the "Clasico", will be fit for the game.

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Messi missed training on Monday, but during a 15-minute open session the following day, a smiling Messi was seen doing some light jogging and taking part in a relaxed keep-ball session.

Real Madrid also have the small matter of the Madrid derby not to mention Champions League fixtures against Ajax in a hectic schedule.

Whether it's a sign of defiance or just tempting fate, manager Santiago Solari says he hopes Messi is fit for the first leg.

"It's always good to have the best players playing in every match", he said.

"It's harder to pick a team when everyone is available, but the important thing is that every player puts their talent, ability and effort at the service of the team".

Of course, tiredness could be an issue, but that is natural for a big club that usually is in two or three competitions at the same time and Barcelona aren't any different.


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