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Philippe Coutinho set for Barcelona debut, handed Mascherano's number 14 shirt

The ex-Liverpool star has been named in the Catalan side’s squad for Thursday’s Copa del Rey clash against Espanyol.

Philippe Coutinho (file pic).
Philippe Coutinho (file pic).
Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

Updated at 22.45

BRAZILIAN PLAYMAKER PHILIPPE Coutinho has been named in the Barcelona squad for Thursday’s Copa del Rey clash against Espanyol, his first call-up since his €160 million (£142 million) move from Liverpool.

Coutinho, who has been handed the number 14 shirt vacated by China-bound Javier Mascherano, had been sidelined by a thigh injury since his drawn-out transfer saga came to an end on January 6.

Coutinho has been cleared to make his debut at Camp Nou as Barcelona look to overturn a 1-0 defeat to Espanyol in the first leg of their quarter-final clash.

Coutinho spent six months with Barcelona’s city rivals on loan in 2012.

Club captain Andres Iniesta and striker Paco Alcacer were also included in the 19-man squad for Thursday’s game as was Colombian defender Yerry Mina, another transfer window recruit.

- (C) AFP 2018

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