Sunday 16 June, 2019

Barcelona rest Messi ahead of Manchester United rematch

Barcelona captain Lionel Messi.

Barcelona captain Lionel Messi.

Lionel Messi and several Barcelona regulars will be fresh for Manchester United's visit in the Champions League quarter-finals on Tuesday after being excluded from the squad to face Huesca.

Superstar captain Messi was bruised and bloodied when he was caught by Chris Smalling's elbow in Barca's 1-0 win at Old Trafford on Wednesday and is not part of the 18-man group picked to visit Estadio El Alcoraz in LaLiga on Saturday.

Sergio Busquets also misses out, while Luis Suarez and Gerard Pique are suspended.

However, Ivan Rakitic (fever) and Sergi Roberto (leg injury) are enforced absences before United visit Camp Nou.

The absences of several first-team players could see January signing Kevin-Prince Boateng make his second LaLiga start for the Blaugrana.

Youngsters Jean-Clair Todibo, Riqui Puig, Abel Ruiz and Moussa Wague are also in contention for minutes against the competition's bottom side.

Barca are a comfortable 11 points clear of Atletico Madrid at the top of LaLiga with seven games to play.

Get the latest local and international news straight to your mobile phone for free: