Lionel Messi should rest injury when Barcelona face Sevilla - Vincenzo Montella

Sevilla are hoping Barcelona will rest Lionel Messi when the two sides square off at the Sanchez Pizjuan on Saturday.

The Argentina captain sat out his country's 2-0 win over Italy on Friday and Tuesday's 6-1 loss to Spain with a hamstring injury.

After the friendlies, Messi returned to Barcelona and completed part of Thursday's training session yet he remains a doubt for the encounter in Seville.

If Messi were fit enough to play against Sevilla, Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde may choose to rest him in view of the team's Champions League quarterfinal first leg against Roma on Wednesday.

"We hope Messi rests for [Wednesday's] game but it wouldn't surprise me if he played," Sevilla coach Vincenzo Montella told his club's website.

Messi has sat out just one La Liga game for Barcelona and has made 27 league starts.

He is La Liga's leading scorer with 25 goals -- three more than Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo. He has also set up another 12 goals to help Barcelona take an 11-point lead over Atletico Madrid at the top of the table with nine games remaining.

"[Even] as a rival, it's beautiful to watch him play," Montella said. "He has incredible qualities."

But Montella said Sevilla will not alter their game plan whether Messi plays or not.

"We will play our way, with our characteristics," Montella said. "If we changed our style of play, we will go crazy. We will try to have as much possession as possible because if we let [Barca] have that, it will be more challenging for us."

Sevilla winger Nolito, meanwhile, knows that even without Messi, Valverde's side will be tough to beat.

"It would be better if Messi didn't come but Barcelona is still one of the most difficult teams in the world," Nolito told Cadena Ser radio.

Sevilla lost 2-1 at Barcelona in La Liga earlier this season and will face them again in the Copa del Rey final in Madrid on April 21.

Montella's side head into Saturday's game on the back of consecutive league defeats -- a 2-0 home loss to Valencia followed by a 2-1 setback at Leganes.

Sevilla are sixth in the table, 14 points adrift of fourth-placed Valencia, who hold the last direct Champions League qualifying spot with nine games remaining.

They will host Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarterfinals on Tuesday with the return leg a week later at the Allianz Arena.

"We face a challenging month and we need to find the strength to do well," Nolito said.