Wednesday Kickoff: Messi declared fit; Bale a doubt for Man City clash; and more

MessiAtletico (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

Barcelona midfielder Lionel Messi has been declared fit from his hamstring injury suffered in the first-leg of the Champions League quarterfinals against Paris Saint-Germain. The Argentine was left out of last Saturday’s win for Barcelona against Zaragoza, allowing him extra time to recover.

It’s not known yet whether manager Tito Vilanova will start Messi in this Saturday’s La Liga match against Levante, but for now he’ll be available for selection for next Tuesday’s Champions League semifinals match against Bayern Munich.

This season Messi has scored eight goals in eight matches in the Champions League, good for second place in the competition behind rival Real Madrid midfielder Cristiano Ronaldo, who has 11 goals.

Here are some more stories to get your Wednesday started:

VILLAS-BOAS SWEATING ON BALE FITNESS

Tottenham manager André Villas-Boas could have a selection issue on his hands this Sunday when his side face Manchester City at White Hart Lane.

Star midfielder Gareth Bale was held out of practice again on Tuesday, nearly two weeks since suffering a horrible looking ankle injury in Spurs first-leg draw with FC Basel. Though the injury had looked bad, scans in the days after the match revealed that the Welshman wouldn’t be out for very long.

However, after a ten-day break between their last match and their next, Villas-Boas is hoping that they’ll be able to use Bale in Sunday’s match without risking further damage to the ankle. Spurs currently sit in fifth place on 58 points, but have a game in hand on third-placed Arsenal.

SANTA FE WIN GROUP SIX

It was a smaller night of matches on Tuesday in the Copa Libertadores, but that doesn’t mean it was missing any excitement.

With first place in Group Six up for grabs, Colombian side Santa Fe defeated second-placed Real Garcilaso of Peru 2-0, with the Colombians scoring two second half goals to ensure a top seed in the knockout stage. Wilder Medina scored in the 47th minute and Cristian Borja scored his fourth goal of the group stages in the 72nd to put the game away for Santa Fe.

In the other match on Tuesday night, already eliminated Cerro Porteño of Paraguay earned their first point of the competition, playing Colombian club Deportes Tolima to a scoreless draw.

QUICK KICKS

Atletico Madrid is reportedly interested in Galatasaray forward Burak Yilmaz, who lead the team in scoring in Europe this season. (REPORT)

Responding to rumors about a move to Real Madrid, FC Schalke midfielder Julian Draxler said it would be a dream to play in the Spanish capital. (REPORT)

Alexis Sanchez may be on his way to Juventus, with the winger being sent on a one-year lone with the option to buy for next season. (REPORT)

Following David Luiz’s request, Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero has apologized to the defender for his two-footed challenge on Sunday. (REPORT)

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What do you make of these reports? Did you doubt that Messi would be available against Bayern? Do you see Bale playing on Sunday against Man City? Do you believe that Atletico Madrid are preparing for Falcao to leave?

Share your thoughts below?

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13 Responses to Wednesday Kickoff: Messi declared fit; Bale a doubt for Man City clash; and more

  1. Travis says:

    Spurs would be wise to rest Bale this weekend regardless of if he is technically declared fit or not. Granted I am an Arsenal fan but I feel like City is trying to prove something down the stretch and would take care of Spurs no matter who is in the lineup, rest him for the other games left

    • Randy says:

      I follow you. As a Spurs fan, I thought it was wise for Arsenal to sell RVP last summer. I felt like Man U was trying to prove something and would win the league no matter who Arsenal relied on to score goals.

      • biff says:

        ha-ha. You deserve a gold star for that incisive post, Randy.

      • Good Jeremy says:

        Yes, only Arsenal got compensation for selling a player they couldn’t afford anymore, while Tottenham would get absolutely nothing if playing Bale too soon hampered his recovery or made the injury worse.

      • Sly says:

        This maybe the best thing I ever read. As a liverpool fan I hope both Spurs Chelsea and Arsenal rest everyone play the U-20s give the lads a chance since City and United already have this wrapped up.

      • Travis says:

        I will come back here and laugh at your sarcasm if they rush Bale back and he re-injures himself (which wenger tried his hardest to do to Wilshere) and then they dont have him the rest of the season. If you think that Spurs have a chance against City with or without Bale you are going to be heartbroken on sunday

  2. ChiTown says:

    Alexis Sanchez may be on his way to Juventus, with the winger being sent on a one-year lone with the option to buy for next season. (REPORT)

    Works hit behind off for the team, but he’s not been the best fit for our style of play. His pace might be better suited in breaking down Italian defense on the break.

  3. DC Josh says:

    I hope Spurs rest Bale for his health… and so Dempsey can have a chance to score more goals.

  4. TomG says:

    Hope the Gunners and Spurs make the top 4. Chelsea is so boring. Even their nickname is boring. The Blues??? Really? That’s the best you can come up with?

    • ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

      +1

    • biff says:

      I would rather see Tottenham and Everton in the Top 4. A shame that Everton could not nick a goal yesterday against Arsenal. I have not yet given up hope that Everton can pull it off. Usually am quite happy to see Fulham get beat, but will be cheering for Martin Jol today against Chelsea (to help out Tottenham and Everton).

  5. Sam says:

    Not trying to hate for the sake of hating, but someone needs to edit this news round-up. Lone instead of loan. Lead instead of led.