Lionel Messi could make his Argentina return in a friendly with Brazil in Saudi Arabia on Friday.

The South American rivals meet in Riyadh, with Messi set for his first international appearance since being sent off in the Copa America’s third-place play-off against Chile in July.

The Barcelona forward, 32, was later handed a three-month ban for saying the tournament was “corrupt”.

Aston Villa midfielder Douglas Luiz could make his senior debut for Brazil.

Neymar remains out after the Paris St-Germain forward injured a hamstring in Brazil’s 1-1 draw with Nigeria on 13 October, but Gabriel Jesus is in their squad.

“It is always good to play a match of this magnitude – Brazil and Argentina is the greatest soccer classic,” the Manchester City striker said.

This is the first meeting between the two nations since Brazil beat Argentina 2-0 in the Copa America semi-finals.

They went on to win the final on home soil, with Jesus scoring in a 3-1 victory over Peru before being sent off for a second yellow card.

The 22-year-old has now served the two-month ban he received for remonstrating with the referee before punching a dugout and pushing VAR equipment.

Brazil have failed to win in four games since, losing 1-0 to Peru in September, while Argentina have gone four unbeaten during Messi’s ban, beating Ecuador 6-1 last month.

Jesus could face Manchester City team-mates Sergio Aguero and Nicolas Otamendi.

“I talked to Otamendi, I was joking with him – I said if he bumped me I would give it back!” he added.

“When we are together in the club, we all swim in the same direction. Now I defend my country, and they their own country. Let them do their best, but there is rivalry.”

Argentina are due to face Uruguay in Tel Aviv on Monday (19:15 GMT) but the game could be cancelled due to fighting in Israel.

Brazil are set to play South Korea in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday (13:30 GMT), which will be their last game before Conmebol’s 2022 World Cup qualifiers begin in March.

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