Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi scored a brace in El Clasico Reuters


  • Rafinha Alcantara, Aleix Vidal and Jeremy Mathieu remain on the sidelines.
  • Catalans host the bottom side of La Liga following a 3-2 win over Real Madrid.

Lionel Messi leads Barcelona squad for the coming La Liga encounter with relegation threatened Osasuna on Wednesday night (26 April) as Neymar remains unavailable due to his three-game ban. Meanwhile, Jeremy Mathieu continues on the sidelines alongside long-term casualties Rafinha Alcantara and Aleix Vidal after the France centre-back already missed the Sunday's 3-2 win over Real Madrid due to an Achiles injury.

Messi, 29, already led Luis Enrique's side to the victory in El Clasico after scoring two goals, including the dramatic winner in the injury-time to add more pressure to Los Blancos in the battle for the La Liga tile.

Barcelona are currently level on points with Real Madrid but the Catalans sit at the top of the table due to the head-to-head record. Yet, Zinedine Zidane's side still can turn around the situation in the last weeks of La Liga as they have a game in hand to play against Celta Vigo.

Luis Enrique is thus expected to deploy a strong-line up to face La Liga basement club Osasuna as his side cannot afford to drop more points in their five games remaining.

This way the Barcelona manager has named the same 18 players who helped him to secure the victory over Real Madrid in El Clasico, including young Carles Aleña.

Neymar already missed the last two wins over Real Sociedad and Los Blancos due to a three-game ban and will remain unavailable to host Osasuna. Paco Alcacer took the Brazilian's place alongside Messi and Luis Suarez in El Clasico but Arda Turan and Denis Suarez could be the chosen one this time after the former Valencia striker failed to make the impact expected against Real Madrid,

Meanwhile, the game with the bottom side of La Liga will also come too early for Mathieu as the Barcelona centre-back has failed to recover from and Achilles tendon in his right foot. Furthermore, Rafinha and Vidal will also miss the game as the two long-term casualties are not expected to return to action until the 2017-2018 campaign.

A victory over Osasuna would serve Barcelona to add more pressure to Real Madrid at the top of the table as Los Blancos' visit to Deportivo La Coruna will come just after the final whistle at the Nou Camp.

Barcelona 18-man squad to face Osasuna:

Ter Stegen, Cillessen, Piqué, Rakitic, Sergio, Denis, Arda, A. Iniesta, Suárez, Messi, Mascherano, Paco Alcácer, Jordi Alba, Digne, Sergi Roberto, André Gomes, Umtiti and Aleñá