Luis Enrique was coy over the involvement of Lionel Messi against Athletic Bilbao but it’s confirmed the forward isn’t included, and neither is Luis Suarez.
Enrique stressed at his pre-match Press conference Messi isn’t injured but it has been reported that the Argentine, who went off at half time of Barca’s weekend rout of the Basques, is suffering from muscular discomfort.
Marca cite El Partido de las 12 as saying Messi won’t travel with the squad for the Copa del Rey first leg against Athletic on Wednesday as a result. Messi though should be ready to play Malaga on Saturday.
Suarez isn’t in the 18-man party either, with Claudio Bravo also sitting out the trip, as well as injured Jordi Alba, Jeremy Mathieu and Rafinha.
It had been reported that Barca were appealing Suarez’s Copa del Rey ban to the Sports Administrative Tribunal [TAD], the Uruguayan having a game to serve on a suspension following a post-match incident in the previous round against Espanyol.
Barcelona squad to play Athletic:
Ter Stegen, Masip, Alves, Douglas, Pique, Bartra, Vermaelen, Mascherano, Adriano, Sergio Busquets, Rakitic, Iniesta, Arda Turan, Sergi Roberto, Sandro, Munir, Aleix Vidal, Neymar