Messi and Suarez out of Barcelona squad

The two forwards will miss the cup clash with the Bilbao side, with Messi withdrawn early in the previous clash between the two sides on Sunday
Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez have been left out of the Barcelona squad to face Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey quarter-final.

Coach Luis Enrique has left Messi out as a precaution after the Argentine was withdrawn early in the league match with Athletic on Sunday, indicating that he does not want to take risks with the player’s fitness.

Medical tests earlier this week revealed there was no muscle injury, but the Barca boss has opted against taking his No.10 to Bilbao.

“I have never liked to risk players,” Enrique said on Tuesday when asked whether Messi would play. “It would be another thing if it was a final, but I have always made a case that it’s not worth risking players.”

Suarez, meanwhile, is facing a ban for his involvement in a dispute with a number of Espanyol players in the last round, with the appeal currently with the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

A decision is expected later on Wednesday, but Enrique has decided to leave the Uruguayan out, perhaps anticipating a rejection.

Neymar, therefore, will be the only member of Barca’s first choice front line available at San Mames, with Arda Turan Munir among the candidates to partner him.

credit: m.goal