Barcelona v Bayern Munich: Lionel Messi to start Champions League game on the bench


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The Independent Football

Lionel Messi was only named on the bench for Barcelona's Champions League semi-final second leg against Bayern Munich at the Nou Camp tonight, where the Catalan giants need to overturn a 4-0 deficit.

Messi has been battling a hamstring problem in recent weeks and, despite playing the full 90 minutes in the first leg, he looked a shadow of his normal self at the Allianz Arena as Bayern dominated.

The four-time reigning world player of the year scored in Saturday's 2-2 draw with Athletic Bilbao after appearing as a second-half substitute but Barca coach Tito Vilanova has decided not to risk him from the outset tonight.

Instead, Vilanova has given a start to Spain international David Villa, who was an unused substitute against Athletic.