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Barcelona trio miss Thursday’s training session

Barcelona trio Lionel Messi, Frenkie de Jong and Miralem Pjanic sat out the club’s training session on Thursday as they had not received the results of their PCR tests conducted on their return to the club.

The trio were on international duty over the past 10 days and Messi was the latest to arrive on Wednesday morning following his long trip from Argentina after their World Cup qualifiers.

It is now revealed that the trio of Messi, De Jong and Pjanic missed Thursday’s training session with the permission of Ronald Koeman as they had not received the results of the PCR tests conducted for COVID-19.

The players should know the outcome by tomorrow morning and Koeman will be hoping all of them are deemed fit and available for training ahead of Saturday’s visit to the Wanda Metropolitano.

The Blaugrana have made an average start to their La Liga season and they have accumulated only 11 points from their first seven games.

That sees them only eighth on the table, but they have two games in hand over Real Sociedad, who are leading the standings with 20 points.

The Blaugrana will face Atletico on the road on Saturday and they will be aiming to register back-to-back league wins for the first time since October 2.

They have dominated the proceedings against their Madrid counterparts over the past decade and have not lost a league meeting since the 2009/10 season.

That constitutes a run of 20 La Liga matches where they have won 14 games, half of which have come on their trips to Madrid.

Despite this, they have won in just one of their previous three visits to Atletico since the latter’s move to Wanda Metropolitano in 2017.

The Blaugrana won’t have the services of Sergi Busquets for the weekend game after he sprained his left knee on international duty.

Atletico have suffered a bigger blow with Uruguayan duo Luis Suarez and Lucas Torreira testing positive for COVID-19.

Both players must follow the quarantine protocols and could be out of action for the next two weeks at least.

Meanwhile, Messi should be the player to watch out for with his stunning tally of 32 goals and eight assists in 41 games against Atletico.

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