Messi ruled out of Athletic clash


Barcelona coach Luis Enrique will have to make do without the services of Lionel Messi in Wednesday's Copa del Rey clash with Athletic Bilbao owing to a hamstring problem.

The prolific attacker picked up the knock in Sunday's 6-0 La Liga win over the Basque side and was taken off at half-time as a precautionary measure.

Messi underwent a series of tests on Monday and the Catalan outfit confirmed the 28-year-old's injury was nothing serious.

Nevertheless, they have decided not to take any risks in the first leg of the quarter-final tie.

Luis Enrique will also be without Jordi Alba (hamstring) and Jeremy Mathieu (calf), while Luis Suarez is unavailable through suspension.

Claudio Bravo has been left out of the squad, with Luis Enrique opting to rest the Chilean goalkeeper.

Barcelona were thrashed 4-0 in Bilbao for the Supercopa de Espana, but recorded a 1-0 win at San Mames in La Liga back in August 2015.