Messi returns to Barça's starting lineup against Athletic at San Mames

Sergi Roberto is expected to fill in at left-back for the suspended Jordi Alba

Messi sale de inicio frente al Athletic | sport

Barcelona have picked a strong side for Sunday's league game against Athletic Club at San Mames, with Lionel Messi returning to the side. 

Albert Masnou

@albert_masnou

Messi injured his thigh against Valencia last weekend and only played the final 30 minutes of Wednesday's Copa del Rey Clasico against Real Madrid. 

But he has been deemed fit to start against Athletic as Barça look to go eight points clear at the top of La Liga. 

Messi's joined in attack by Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho, while both Nelson Semedo and Sergi Roberto start in the absence of the suspended Jordi Alba -- the former will play at left-back. 

Valverde took 19 players to Bilbao so had to leave out one person. In the end, Barça B defender 

Full Barça side: Ter Stegen, Sergi Roberto, Pique, Lenglet, Semedo, Busquets, Rakitic, Vidal, Messi, Suarez, Coutinho.

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