Predicted Barcelona Lineup To Face Real Betis In The Copa Del Rey
Barcelona will clash against local rivals Espanyol in the second-leg of the quarter-finals of the Copa Del Rey, at the Camp Nou on Friday night.
The Catalans come into the game with a 1-0 deficit from the first leg and will be intent on overturning it, in hope of edging a step closer to retaining their Copa Del Rey title. Ernesto Valverde’s men come into the game riding on the wave of their 5-0 triumph over Real Betis over the weekend and the manager will be hoping that his charges deliver a similar performance on Thursday.
Defender Thomas Vermaelen is sidelined for up to two weeks with a hamstring problem. He joins the likes of Javier Mascherano, Andres Iniesta, Ousmane Dembele and Paco Alcacer on the treatment tables. January signing Philippe Coutinho too is expected to be unavailable, while fellow winter window arrival Yerry Mina could be set for his debut.
Probable Barcelona XI
Manager: Ernesto Valverde
Jasper Cillessen (GK)
The anointed goalkeeper for the cup competitions, Dutchman Jasper Cillessen should come in for Marc-Andre ter Stegen for Thursday’s game.
Sergi Roberto (RB)
The Spanish utility man should return to the right-back spot that he has made his own, ahead of summer signing Nelson Semedo.
Yerry Mina (CB)
The Colombian defender could make his debut for Barcelona, following his January move from Palmeiras.
Samuel Umtiti (CB)
The French international is fit again and made a substitute appearance for the Catalans over the weekend. Could be in line for a start.
Jordi Alba (LB)
At left-back, former Valencia man Jordi Alba is expected to keep his place ahead of Frenchman Lucas Digne.
Ivan Rakitic (CM)
The Croatian midfielder scored in the weekend win over Real Betis and will want to carry that form into Thursday’s game as well.
Sergio Busquets (CM)
An indispensable part of this Barcelona setup, Sergio Busquets will assume duties at the base of the midfield.
Andre Gomes (CM)
With Andres Iniesta unfit, the Portuguese midfielder could get another shot to make a strong impression on the manager.
The Brazilian has been a key source of goals for the Catalans this season. Having made a substitute appearance over the weekend, he is likely to start in the no. 10 role on Thursday.
Lionel Messi (ST)
Grabbed a double against Betis at the weekend and will be Barcelona’s biggest threat as they look to overturn the one-goal deficit.
Luis Suarez (ST)
The Uruguayan too scored a brace in the weekend fixture and will have to be at the top of his game on Thursday for Barcelona to bounce back.