Barcelona Set To Rest Messi For Cup Game


Barcelona coach Luis Enrique could rest Lionel Messi and a number of other first-team players for the trip to Elche in their Copa del Rey last-16 second-leg match on Thursday.

The Catalan giants won 5-0 in the first leg and Enrique is set to call upon players from the B squad for the game.

Xavi will miss out because of injury, while Neymar is a doubt after picking up a knock.

“The goal is to keep winning matches,” said Enrique.

“Good football will bring us closer to victory, and that's why we try to play in an attractive way.”

Neymar scored twice in the first leg, with Messi, Jordi Alba and Luis Suarez also on the scoresheet.

Suarez has scored five goals for Barcelona since joining from Liverpool in the summer, and Enrique is satisfied with how is progressing.

“Physically he is in great shape,” he added.
“In footballing terms he is continuing to develop. As games go by we will see that development and I am sure he will offer great things to the team.”