Barcelona rests Messi ahead of Manchester United rematch

Ernesto Valverde will leave behind multiple first-team stars when Barcelona heads to Huesca in LaLiga this weekend.

Lionel Messi in action against Manchester United in the Champions League.   -  Getty Images

Lionel Messi and several Barcelona regulars will be fresh for Manchester United's visit in the Champions League quarter-finals on Tuesday after being excluded from the squad to face Huesca.

Superstar captain Messi was bruised and bloodied when he was caught by Chris Smalling's elbow in Barca's 1-0 win at Old Trafford on Wednesday and is not part of the 18-man group picked to visit Estadio El Alcoraz in LaLiga on Saturday.

Sergio Busquets also misses out, while Luis Suarez and Gerard Pique are suspended.

However, Ivan Rakitic (fever) and Sergi Roberto (leg injury) are enforced absences before United visit Camp Nou.

The absences of several first-team players could see January signing Kevin-Prince Boateng make his second LaLiga start for the Blaugrana.

Youngsters Jean-Clair Todibo, Riqui Puig, Abel Ruiz and Moussa Wague are also in contention for minutes against the competition's bottom side.

Barca is a comfortable 11 points clear of Atletico Madrid at the top of LaLiga with seven games to play.

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