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Copa del Rey: Messi, Suarez out of game against Athletic Bilbao 


Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez will miss holders Barcelona’s first-leg Copa del Rey quarter-final away to Athletic Bilbao on Wednesday and are absent from Luis Enrique’s 18-man squad.

Messi came off at half-time as Barca thrashed Athletic 6-0 in La Liga on Sunday and hasn’t been risked despite scans ruling out a hamstring injury.

File: FC Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, left, duels for the ball against Celta de Vigo’s Pablo Hernandez during a Spanish La Liga soccer match at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain.

Suarez scored a hat-trick at the weekend, but he completes a two-game Cup ban for confronting Espanyol players in the tunnel at the end of a fiery first-leg in the previous round.

However, the Uruguayan had still been expected to travel to Bilbao with Barca’s final appeal against the ban to Spain’s Court of Arbitration for Sport not being held until Wednesday afternoon.

Defenders Jordi Alba and Jeremy Mathieu also miss out due to hamstring and calf injuries respectively.

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