Messi benched as Barcelona face Leganes

Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde rested Lionel Messi for his side's LaLiga clash with Leganes, naming the club's leading goal-scorer among the substitutes.

Valverde opted to start the match with a front three of Philippe Coutinho, Ousmane Dembele and Luis Suarez as Barca sought a seventh successive league victory that would restore their five-point lead over Atletico Madrid at the top of the table.

Messi has scored six goals in his last four league appearances to take his tally for the season to 17 and his total for the club past the 400 mark, but Valverde said before the game that his star man would need a rest amid a tough run of fixtures.

The Blaugrauna will face Sevilla over two legs in the Copa del Rey before the end of January, either side of a trip to Girona in LaLiga.

Meanwhile, Marc-Andre ter Stegen was named in Barcelona's starting line-up for his 100th appearance in LaLiga since joining the club in June 2014.

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