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Returning emperor Lionel Messi can put Roma to the sword

(Ah Fat Talk Ball) - "Welcome Romans, 100,000 gladiators await you," warned Barcelona in a preview video ahead of their Champions League quarter-final first leg against AS Roma on Wednesday.

One warrior stands head and shoulders above the rest.

Lionel Messi is fit again and expected to start against the Italian side after rising from the bench to rescue Barcelona a point in a 2-2 draw with Sevilla on Saturday.

Messi missed Argentina's friendlies during the international break with muscular problems, a 2-0 win over Italy and a humiliating 6-1 thrashing by Spain in Madrid.

Thrown on by Ernesto Valverde just before the hour mark as Barcelona trailed Sevilla 2-0, Messi turned the tide in his team's favour and drove home an 89th-minute equaliser from outside the area.

The last time Roma faced Barcelona was in the Champions League group stage in November 2015, with the Catalans registering a thumping 6-1 home win over the Italians.

Messi made his return from a two-month injury layoff in that game, running the show and scoring twice, as well as setting up Gerard Pique.

Luis Suarez, who also struck twice against Roma in that match, was pleased with the team's attitude against Sevilla.

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