Messi, Neymar rested for Barca's Cup game at Elche

Posted Friday, January 16, 2015 by YAHOO Sport

Messi, Neymar rested for Barca's Cup game at Elche
Barcelona's Luis Suarez, Neymar and Lionel Messi celebrate a goal against Atletico Madrid during their Spanish First Division soccer match at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona January 11, 2015.

Barcelona coach Luis Enrique has decided to rest Lionel Messi, Neymar and most of his regulars for the King's Cup last 16, second leg match at Elche later on Thursday.

Barca have a 5-0 lead from last week's first leg at the Nou Camp and Luis Enrique has called up six players from the B team, including teenage Croatia midfielder Alen Halilovic for the return game.

Playmaker Xavi and defender Thomas Vermaelen will miss the match due to injury, while centre back Gerard Pique and midfielder Ivan Rakitic are the only players included who featured in Sunday's 3-1 La Liga win at home to Atletico Madrid, Barca said on their website (

Barca are likely to face Atletico in the quarter-finals as the La Liga champions take a 2-0 advantage over holders Real Madrid into their last 16, second leg at Real's Bernabeu stadium later on Thursday.

Sevilla, Athletic Bilbao, Villarreal, Malaga, Espanyol and Getafe are already through to the last eight.

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