Ernesto Valverde: Late Barcelona decision on Ousmane Dembele

Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde admits he will not take a decision on Ousmane Dembele’s fitness against Lyon until the last minute.

The French forward sustained a knock in Saturday’s victory over Rayo Vallecano and is a doubt for tonight’s Champions League Round of 16 second leg, which is tentatively poised at 0-0.

“We have yet to make a decision, we must continue to evaluate the situation,” Valverde told reporters on Tuesday, as cited by Marca.

“We will not risk him if he is not fit even though we know this is a crucial match in our season, it was the same with Lionel Messi earlier in the season.

“It is important that our players are fully fit and focused on this game, and my job is the delegation of these tasks and evaluating the situation.

“The tie is in a delicate situation because no team is currently in a position to progress through to the next round, and we know the difficulties they pose.

“They have fast players who can create a lot in the final third, they will be aware of the value of an away goal and a scoring draw is fantastic for them.

“We need to go and win the tie, which carries a lot of pressure, but we know that if we replicate our performance from the first leg we should find our goals.”

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