And Spalletti feels that the prospect of facing the Catalan giants and Messi is a great test for his side, who sit second in the group - just three points off Barcelona at the top - and has called on his players to show their quality against a top-class opponent.
He added: "The other day [vs Rayo] we started the game very well, but then it was hard for us to play as we did in the previous matches".
Barca needed goals from Ousmane Dembele and Luis Suarez in the final three minutes to claim a nervy win over Rayo last Saturday. The 31-year-old was named among the 22 men who travelled to Milan on Monday morning, but whether he will get some minutes is still unclear considering that there's still some time to go until his prescribed date of recovery.
FC Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen (1) during the match FC Barcelona against Real Madrid, for the round 10 of the Liga Santander, played at Camp Nou on 28th October 2018 in Barcelona, Spain. After six games without a goal, he has now hit six in his last four.
"We know how many goals Luis and Leo have scored together", Ivan Rakitic said after the match.
"We need to control the game to have that chance", Valverde added.
"I'm going to do everything I can to get selected, as I've always done ever since I made my debut with the national team", Alba said.
Then, Rafinha's Barca future looked bleak but Valverde's preference carries a clear message to the likes of Dembele and Malcom about the value he places on concentration, pressing off the ball and teamwork.
Barcelona have coped well in Messi's absence - winning all four of the games he has missed.
If Barcelona win the match, they'll qualify from the group as winners.
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