Luis Enrique has Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique unavailable for his match day squad ahead of Barcelona’s trip to Granada on Sunday.
Barcelona return to action after the fortnight-long break for international fixtures, and their first assignment sees them visit the Estadio Nuevo Los Carmenes to take on Granada on Sunday.
Luis Enrique’s men will to build on their win prior to the international break in order to not lose ground on La Liga leaders Real Madrid. Ahead of the match against Granada on Sunday, here is the all-important team news for Barcelona.
Luis Enrique doesn’t really have many injury concerns on his hands, with just two players missing through fitness concerns. Aleix Vidal is a long-term absentee, having suffered the horrific ankle injury against Alaves in February.
The only other player missing the match through injury is Turkish forward, Arda Turan who is sidelined with a groin injury that has ruled him out of action for three weeks.
However, there are two other major absentees from Enrique’s match day squad. Barcelona talisman, Lionel Messi is unavailable for the match against Granada as he is suspended after picking up his fifth booking of the season in the match against Valencia two weeks ago.
Gerard Pique has not travelled with the Barcelona squad either, as he did not take part in the club’s final training session, having been granted a rest by Enrique. Jeremy Mathieu takes Pique’s place in the squad after recovering from an ankle injury.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) April 1, 2017
Speaking on Messi’s suspension in his pre-match press conference, Luis Enrique chose to give a positive spin, insisting that the extended rest will be good for the Argentinian forward. He said: “The rest will be good for him.”
The Barcelona boss held a similar view when quizzed on Pique’s absence from the match day squad for Sunday. He continued: “We are giving Pique a rest as he is a crucial player and has played a lot of football.”
Here’s the 18-man match day squad for Barcelona ahead of their visit to Los Carmenes on Sunday:
Ter Stegen, Cillessen, Rakitic, Sergio, Denis, Iniesta, Suárez, Neymar Jr, Rafinha, Mascherano, Paco Alcácer, Jordi Alba, Digne, Sergi Roberto, André Gomes, Umtiti, Mathieu and Aleñá.