Squad announced for trip to Bilbao, Alba in but injured Iniesta out
Thomas Vermaelen also unfit, while Ernesto Valverde names Oriol Busquets and David Costas of Barça B in his list of 20 players that will be flying north on Saturday morning
Andrés Iniesta has pulled the gracilis muscle in the right thigh will have to miss this weekend’s game at Athletic Club, but it’s too early to tell whether the injury will also affect his availability for the trip to Greece.
Thomas Vermaelen is also unavailable after picking a hip injury, and with Ousmane Dembélé, Rafinha, Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal also side-lined that’s six first team players that are currently out of action.
But there was also some good news on Friday. Jordi Alba is over his fitness concerns and has been named among the 20 players that will be travelling to Bilbao on the morning of match. So has Javier Mascherano, who missed training today due to fever caused by infection, but his situation is not so serious that he won’t be able to play normally tomorrow.
Two of the travelling party as Barça B players: defensive midfielder Oriol Busquets (no relation!) will be wearing number 30 and central defender David Costas, on loan from Celta, will have 39.
The complete squad is thus as follows: Ter Stegen, Cillessen, Semedo, Piqué, Rakitic, Sergio Busquets, Denis Suárez, Suárez, Messi, Mascherano, Paulinho, Deulofeu, Paco Alcácer, Jordi Alba, Digne, Sergi Roberto, André Gomes, Umtiti, Oriol Busquets and Costas.
Following Valverde’s press conference, the first team trained at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper, where they were joined by another member of the reserve squad, Jokin Ezkieta del Barça B.