Barcelona manager Luis Enrique has finally included Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta and Neymar in his 18-man squad for the Copa del Rey quarter final second leg against Athletic Bilbao despite the first two were major doubt for the game due to fevers. The Spanish manager, meanwhile, has opted to leave all Claudio Bravo, Douglas and Sandro out of the squad for technical reasons alongside Arda Turan, Jordi Alba and Rafina Alcantara, who are on the sidelines.
The Copa del Rey holders host the last year runners-up with a slight advantage after they secured a 2-1 victory at San Mames last week thanks to the goals of Neymar and Munir. But the Barcelona manager refused to take anything for granted for the second leg at home in his Tuesday's press conference after being hit with a fever crisis in the dressing room.
Iniesta, Busquets and Arda Turan were eventually forced to miss the Tuesday training session due to the illness, with reports suggesting the trio could miss the game today (27 January 2016). But it looks like at least the former two have recovered in time for the game against the Basque side after Luis Enrique has decided to include both in his Barcelona squad, although it is unsure whether they will play as a starters. The game, however, comes to earlier for the Turkish international who will remain on the side-lines alongside Jordi Alba and long-term absentee Rafinha.
Bravo, meanwhile, once again will left his position to Marc Andre Ter Stegen as the German international is Luis Enrique's number one for the Copa del Rey and Champions League. Douglas and Ramos are also to miss the game amid the rumours linking them with a move away from Barcelona before the end of the January transfer window.
Furthermore, as Luis Enrique already confirmed on Tuesday, Neymar is available again after the Brazilian was rested during the weekend 2-1 victory over Malaga due to a minor knock in his hamstring.
Barcelona hopes to book a place in the Copa del Rey semi-final to boost their confidence ahead of their crucial La Liga home game against Atletico Madrid on Saturday, with the Catalans currently leading the table with the same points tally but one game in hand after Diego Simeone's were held to a goalless draw in their last encounter with Sevilla.
Barcelona squad to face Athletic Bilbao: Marc Andre Ter Stegen, Jordi Masip, Gerard Piqué, Ivan Rakitic, Sergio Busquets, Dani Alves, Andres Iniesta, Luis Suárez, Lionel Messi, Neymar, Javier Mascherano, Marc Bartra, Munir, Sergi Roberto, Adriano, Aleix Vidal, Thomas Vermaelen, Jeremy Mathieu.