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Pep Guardiola Prepares Messi For Barcelona-Espanyol Derby

After stumbling to a 2-2 draw last week at Real Betis, Barcelona coach, Pep Guardiola is taking nothing for granted as he prepares his side for Saturday’s derby clash with Espanyol.

His first order of business in yesterday’s training session was to personally address Lionel Messi, who for the second time in the last three league games, only appeared as a substitute.

With no midweek games, the Argentine will be fresh and well-rested as Sport reported that he sauntered into the Joan Gamper training ground looking relaxed and jovial. But it was quickly straight to business as Guardiola took him aside prior to the start of the workout schedule to have a leisurely chat about tactics and strategies for the Espanyol encounter.

Guardiola has recovered captain, Carles Puyol, who has successfully shrugged off his muscular injury. Andres Iniesta will be sidelined, though, but Gabriel Milito continued his solitary rehabilitation training following his knee surgery almost exactly a year ago.

Two players from the cantera, Abraham and Botia also joined in the session, and they could be summoned to the squad to face Espanyol.

After this weekend’s derby, Barca will head off to France to face Lyon in the first leg, round of 16 Champions League clash.

KS Leong, Goal.com