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FC Barcelona News: 17 January 2016; 18 in squad for Athletic Bilbao, Javier Mascherano reaches milestone

David Ramos/Getty Images

FC Barcelona made it through to the quarter finals of the Copa del Rey this week, and learned on Friday that their next opponent will be Athletic Bilbao. And as fate should have it, that’s the very side they are meeting in Sunday’s league match at the Camp Nou (8.30pm CET).

After sitting out in the midweek cup victory over Espanyol, Bravo, Jordi Alba and Suárez are back in the squad. Mathieu, Adriano and Rafinha are injured while Masip, Douglas and Sandro were not selected for technical reasons.

Athletic are Barça’s next opponents in the league and in the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey and coach Luis Enrique knows only too well what he will be up against: "It will be a game without respite and without concessions."

Following the Copa del Rey match this week against RCD Espanyol, Javier Mascherano has moved into the Top 5 foreign imports with the most appearances for FC Barcelona, where he is now tied on 257 matches with Patrick Kluivert. And the Argentinian is also just six games short of catching up with third placed Ronald Koeman (264).

Links between Pogba and Barca have resurfaced following news of Madrid’s transfer ban and the Frenchman reportedly admitting he would love to play with Lionel Messi at the FIFA Ballon d’Or gala earlier in the week.

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