Javier Mascherano
Mascherano is yet to play since Copa del Rey clash with Atletico on 7 February Getty


  • Arda Turan and Sergio Busquets are expected to be back for Luis Enrique.
  • Long-term casualty Aleix Vidal is also ruled out.

Javier Mascherano remains a major doubt for the Barcelona trip to Atletico Madrid on Sunday (26 February) after the Argentina international didn't appear in the Thursday's training session with the rest of his available teammates. However, Arda Turan and Sergio Busquets are expected to be available, after the duo missed the last win over Leganes due to injury and suspension respectively.

Mascherano, 32, is yet to play a game since picking up a hamstring injury during the second leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final clash against Atletico Madrid on 7 February.

The former Liverpool star has thus missed the last three games against Alaves, Paris Saint Germain and Leganes but there were hopes he could be ready to return to action in time for the crucial trip to Atletico Madrid.

However, it looks that the visit to the Vicente Calderon will finally come too soon for Mascherano after he didn't appeared in the video released by the club during the Thursday's workout.

Long-term casualty Aleix Vidal is also out but the rest of Barcelona's available teammates returned to training after enjoying two days off.

The good news for Luis Enrique is that Arda Turan was on the pitch alongside Lionel Messi and CO.

The Turkey international has also missed the last three games – due to a groin issue – but should be available to face his former side on Sunday. Luis Enrique, meanwhile, will also recover Busquets after the Spaniard missed the win over Leganes due to suspension.

The trip to Atletico Madrid has become crucial for Barcelona as the Catalans were given fresh hope to fight for the La Liga title after Real Madrid suffered a surprising 2-1 defeat at Valencia on Wednesday night.

Los Blancos are still one point ahead of Barcelona at the top of La Liga table – and with one game in hand – but face another difficult trip to Villarreal on Sunday.