Pique and Rakitic return for Barcelona trip to Juventus but Sergio Busquets is suspended

Eduardo Fernandez-Abascal
Sergio Busquets

Barcelona manager Luis Enrique has a selection nightmare for the Juventus match as Sergio Busquets, Rafinha Alcantara, Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal will all miss the first leg of the Champions League quarter-finals on Tuesday (11 April). However the boss has only left the Brazilian midfielder out of his 23-man travelling squad to Italy after Saturday's 2-0 defeat to Malaga dented the Catalans' effort to beat Real Madrid to the La Liga title.

Gerard Pique and Ivan Rakitic missed the game at the Rosaleda Stadium through suspension while Luis Enrique also rested Andres Iniesta in order to have the captain fresh for the trip to Juventus.

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Furthermore, Rafinha, Turan and long-term casualty Aleix Vidal were also unavailable at the weekend due to different injury concerns, with the former having been ruled out for the next four months after undergoing surgery in his knee.

The Barcelona manager had no fresh injuries during the game but his side suffered a big moral blow after being beaten by Malaga only hours after Real Madrid were held to a draw by Atletico Madrid.

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A victory over Malaga would have seen Barcelona going level on points with Real Madrid at the top of the La Liga table and instead they are now three points behind Los Blancos, who still have one game in hand.

Furthermore, Neymar was sent off in the second half of the game and could miss the trip to Real Madrid on 23 April if he is given a two-game ban.

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But for now the Catalans have to turn their attention to the Champions League clash with Juventus, and Luis Enrique has decided to take 23 players to Italy, leaving Rafinha at home but promoting Carles Aleña and Àlex Carbonell from the second team to complete the travelling squad.

Busquets, Turan and Vidal will also have to be excluded from the final 18-man squad as the Spaniard is suspended, while the other two remain on the sidelines.

Luis Enrique has to decide whether to use a 4-3-3 formation with Javier Mascherano replacing Busquets in the midfield, or giving a chance to the likes of Andre Gomes in a 3-4-3.

The good news for the manager is that both Pique and Rakitic are back available and will surely make the starting line-up, with Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar leading the attack.

Barcelona's 23-man travelling squad to face Juventus:

Ter Stegen, Cillessen, Masip, Piqué, Rakitic, Sergio, Denis Suárez, Arda, Iniesta, Luis Suárez, Messi, Neymar Jr, Mascherano, Paco Alcácer, Jordi Alba, Digne, Sergi Roberto, André Gomes, Aleix Vidal, Umtiti, Mathieu, Aleñá (28) and Carbonell (30).

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