Javier Mascherano returns for Barcelona vs Juventus but Arda Turan misses out

Eduardo Fernandez-Abascal
Javier Mascherano

Barcelona star Javier Mascherano is ready to return to action for the second leg of the Champions League quarter-final against Juventus on Wednesday night (19 April) having recovered from a calf injury. Academy starlet Carles Aleña has also made Luis Enrique's 18-man squad to face the Italians as Arda Turan remains on the sidelines – leaving also into question his availability for the El Clasico at Real Madrid on Sunday.

The Catalans host the Serie A champions in search of another historic comeback after they suffered a disappointing 3-0 defeat in the reverse fixture played in Turin last week.

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Mascherano played the full 90 minutes during that game, covering the absence of suspended Sergio Busquets during the first-half before returning to his role as a centre-back for the second part of the game.

But his participation in the second leg came under scrutiny after a day later Barcelona were informed he had suffered an injury in his left calf during the game, being consequently ruled out for the weekend's 3-2 victory over Real Sociedad.

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Yet, on Tuesday Luis Enrique revealed that the Argentina international was back in full fitness and has now included him in his 18-man squad to face Juventus.

Turan had also given the Barcelona fans some hope to be back for the Champions League clash after training with the rest of his teammates since last week. However, the visit of Juventus will come too early for the Turkish international and it remains uncertain whether he could be ready to return for Sunday's trip to Real Madrid.

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The Barcelona playmaker was not expected to start against Juventus anyway but his potential absence against Real Madrid would be a blow for Luis Enrique as Neymar will also miss the El Clasico due to a three-game ban.

The Barcelona boss has promoted 19-year-old Carles Aleña from the second team to face Juventus as long-term casualties Rafinha Alcantara and Aleix Vidal also remain on the sidelines. Furthermore, Jeremy Mathieu and third keeper Jordi Masip have also been excluded from the Luis Enrique's 18-man squad after the latter had a game to forget in the first leg.

"Luis Enrique has named his squad for the Champions League showdown against Juventus on Wednesday night at 8.45pm CET, with the big news being the welcome return from calf issues of Javier Mascherano. On the down-side, Arda Turan, Rafinha and Aleix Vidal are all still out through injury," Barcelona have confirmed.

"With no players suspended for tonight's encounter, in which a comeback akin to the famous 6-1 turnaround against PSG is required in order to progress to the last four, the only unforced absentees are Jeremy Mathieu and Jordi Masip, with Carles Aleñá of the B team also getting a call-up for duty this evening."

Barcelona 18-man squad to face Juventus

Ter Stegen, Piqué, Rakitic, Sergio, Denis, A. Iniesta, Suárez, Messi, Neymar Jr, Cillessen, Mascherano, Paco Alcácer, Jordi Alba, Digne, Sergi Roberto, André Gomes, Umtiti and Aleñá.

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