|MSN with Piqué and Alba in training | Image: FCB
FC Barcelona kick off the new year in the Copa del Rey when they face Athletic Bilbao in a tricky encounter at the San Mames for their Round of 16 clash.
Barça saw off third tier side Hércules in the first round, booking a spot in the last season, they face Ernesto Valverde’s men on Thursday night and coach Luis Enrique has named 18 Players in the team’s squad to face the Basque outfits.
The list, being the first of the year features Lionel Messi, Luis Suárez, Neymar and Andrés Iniesta as well as Gerard Piqué and Javier Mascherano, a pretty strong squad feature all the available key men for the club who returned early from their holidays.
The only player who misses out through injury is goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen who picked up an injury during the holidays. Luis Enrique decided to leave out Denis Suarez, Aleix Vidal and Jeremy Mathieu who recently resumed light training.
FC BARCELONA SQUAD VS ATHLETIC CLUB
Goalkeepers: Marc André Ter Stegen, Jordi Masip;
Defenders: Sergi Roberto, Gerard Piqué, Javier Mascherano, Samuel Umtiti, Lucas Digne, Jordi Alba;
Midfielders: Andrés Iniesta, Ivan Rakitic, Sergio Busquets, André Gomes, Rafinha Alcántara, Arda Turan;
Forwards: Lionel Messi, Luis Suárez, Neymar, Paco Alcácer.
SHOULD LUIS ENRIQUE CONTINUE AS BARCA COACH NEXT SEASON