Messi to remain out of action for 3 weeks

Lionel Messi fractures right arm and will miss El Clasico in huge blow to Barcelona

With Lionel Messi out with a broken arm, the two most expensive signings in Barcelona's history have a flawless opportunity to step up and show their value.

Messi scored Barcelona's second goal against Sevilla following Philippe Coutinho's 2nd-minute opener but the Argentinian icon was forced off in the 26th minute at the Nou Camp.

But the Argentine attacker soon had to be replaced after damaging his right arm in a heavy fall, with Ousmane Dembele replacing him.

In a statement, Barcelona said tests have confirmed that Messi has a fracture of the radial bone, and will be out for three weeks at least.

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Barcelona's ambitions were rocked when Lionel Messi was injured and ruled out for at least three weeks during their outing versus Sevilla.

As well as the Classico next Sunday, Barcelona also face a vital Champions League tie at home to Inter Milan on Wednesday.

The same point was raised last season, when Messi, as a substitute, inspired a late fightback from two goals down against Sevilla and scored in the 89th minute.

Ernesto Valverde feels Lionel Messi's injury provides an opportunity for Barcelona players to step up, although he acknowledges the team will miss their captain.

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"It is clear it will affect us a lot", Barcelona coach Valverde said on Tuesday. Despite surprise defeats to Espanyol and Sevilla, Real Madrid lead the way in the Spanish top flight and they dominated from the off at the Camp Nou to demonstrate their superiority.

Real Madrid will be looking to Marco Asensio, but for the home side, Dembele will be charged will going some way to fill the creative void left by Messi.

It will be interesting to see how Barcelona fare without him given just how instrumental he is. We all know what the opponent thinks when they play Leo.

Luis Suarez extended the lead on 63 minutes from the penalty.

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Before the clasico, Madrid hosts Viktoria Plzen Champions League to try to rebound from a 1-0 loss at CSKA Moscow.

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