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06 November 2018, 10:12 | Pamela Mathis
Barcelona are top of Group B with maximum points from three games ahead of Inter Milan who lost 2-0 in Spain.
Messi, 31, has not played since breaking a bone in his arm in the win over Sevilla on October 20.
One is that he plays from the start, another that he comes on.
Barcelona have fared well in Messi's absence, winning their last four matches in all competitions and spectacularly beating rivals Real Madrid 5-1 in the first Clasico encounter of the season at Camp Nou - a result that led to the sacking of Julen Lopetegui.
He was among the travelling party that flew to Milan on Monday and trained at the San Siro with his teammates later in the day - although he does not yet have the green light from Barca's medical team to return to competitive action.
The defending champions got to the scoresheet when Luis Suarez scored from Jordi Alba's cutback eleven minutes into the match.
Dembele was introduced for the ineffective Rafinha early in the second period and, despite struggling to get into the game, made a telling impact with his late leveller. "I never went to both clubs and said I want this player".
"We need to control the game to have that chance", Valverde added. More than anything because he is one more [player] and so we have more to choose from.
"It will be hard because they're a fearless team with a way of playing that I love".
Coach Ernesto Valverde said on Friday he had not ruled Messi out of playing but was concerned about rushing him back.
Barca were without a win in four league games and defensive errors looked set to play havoc with their title challenge.
If Barcelona win the match, they'll qualify from the group as winners.
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