TEAM NEWS: Messi named as a substitute as Barcelona host Benfica

The Argentina international does not make the starting XI for the Blaugrana's Champions League match this evening, as he goes in search of Gerd Muller's goalscoring record
Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova has chosen to name Lionel Messi as a substitute for tonight's clash with Benfica.  

The 25-year-old starts on the bench for the Catalan giants, despite being just one goal shy of Gerd Muller's record of 85 goals in a calendar year.

Vilanova has opted for a youthful XI for the tie, with forward Rafinha starting alongside his older brother Thiago. Elsewhere Carles Planas plays at left-back for the Liga runners-up, while Cristian Tello starts on the left of an attacking three which also includes Rafinha and the experienced David Villa.  

The home side have already qualified for the knockout stages of this year's competition after picking up 12 points from their opening five games, which has allowed Vilanova to rest a number of first-team players for this tie.

Javier Mascherano, Jordi Alba, Xavi, Cesc Fabregas, Andres Iniesta and Pedro have been given time off by the Blaugrana trainer, and will return to full training on Thursday.

Benfica trainer Jorge Jesus names a full-strength starting XI, with Rodrigo partnering Lima in attack for the Portuguese side as they look to advance to the next stage at the expense of Celtic, who face Spartak Moscow in Group G's other fixture this evening.

Oscar Cardozo and Nicolas Gaitan are named as substitutes for the Eagles.

Barcelona (4-3-3):
Pinto; Montoya, Puyol, Adriano, Planas; Song, Thiago, Roberto; Rafinha, Villa, Tello

Subs: Valdes, Pique, Gomez, Dos Santos, Busquets, Messi, Deulofeu

Benfica (4-4-2): Artur; Pereira, Garay, Luisao, Melgarejo; Matic, Gomes, John, Nolito; Rodrigo, Lima

Subs: Lopes, Luisinho, Jardel, Almeida, Cesar, Gaitan, Cardozo