Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Andres Iniesta lead Barcelona's 19-man squad for the second leg of the Copa del Rey last 16 against Celta Vigo on Thursday night [11 January] after the three key players were rested by Ernesto Valverde in the reverse fixture played last week at Balaidos Stadium.

The Catalans were then held to a 1-1 draw by Juan Carlos Unzue's side as Pione Sixto cancelled out the goal scored by Barcelona B forward Jose Arnaiz in the first half.

The result has left everything to play for ahead of the second leg at the Nou Camp with the Catalans looking for a victory to finish the job and progress through the quarter finals.

Valverde is expected to name a stronger line-up this time with Messi, Suarez and Iniesta returning to his squad after the trio played during the weekend's 3-0 victory over Levante in La Liga.

The Barcelona boss will still be unable to use new signing Philippe Coutinho with the former Liverpool ace having arrived to the Nou Cam with a thigh injury which is expected to keep him on the sidelines until the end of the month.

Meanwhile, Samuel Umtiti and Paco Alcacer missed the first leg due to different muscle injuries and will also remain on the sidelines when Celta visit Barcelona on Thursday [11 January] night.

Denis Suárez, Arda Turan, Rafinha Alcantara, Gerard Deulofeu and Aleix Vidal have also been left out amid suggestions that the last four could be shown the exit door during the current January transfer window after having deemed surplus requirements by Valverde.

Instead the Barcelona boss has promoted Arnaiz and Carles Aleña from the second team after the 22-year-old forward scored the Catalan's only goal in the first leg before being rewarded with his La Liga debut during the weekend victory over Levante.

"For the first leg, Ernesto Valverde opted to rest key players like Leo Messi and Luis Suárez, who had only just returned from their Christmas holiday, but both the South American strikers are in the squad of 19 that he named after training on Wednesday evening,"

"Samuel Umtiti, Paco Alcácer and new signing Philippe Coutinho are all forced absentees, while the FCB coach has also decided to leave out Denis Suárez, Arda Turan, Rafinha, Deulofeu and Aleix Vidal."

The Catalans are the favourites to go through the quarter finals after scoring an away goal in Balaidos but Valverde has refused to accept that tag.

"We go into the game with the idea of winning it. It's true that Celta have to score and they have done that in all their games away from home. We can't think that the result is in our favour because then there is the risk that we will make a mistake," the Barcelona boss stated.

"They are a team who try to dominate the game and they don't want you to have the ball, they put pressure on you high up the field. They played well even though we had enough chances to win the game. This time we know that it is all up for grabs as one team will be knocked out. Kit will be a great game to watch."

Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi was rested for the first leg but will be ready to start on Thursday night. Getty