The Spain international, one of the most feared strikers in Europe last season, has barely featured for Los Leones since making clear he would not sign a new contract.
With his current deal set to expire in the summer, he has been linked with free transfer moves to Juventus, Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.
As a result, he has been forced to train with the youth team by eccentric coach Marcelo Bielsa, and has only made four appearances this season - one in La Liga and four in the Europa League.
His selection for the match in Haifa – which was rescheduled from last week over security concerns – is another hint that he is not considered a first-team player, with the rest of the squad largely drawn from the youth team.
Athletic Bilbao cannot progress from the group stage after Lyon and Sparta Prague drew last week.