Luis Enrique names the two summer signings in his eighteen to face Espanyol in the Copa del Rey at the Camp Nou on Wednesday at 8.30pm CET
It’s non-stop at FC Barcelona these days. After drawing 0-0 at the RCDE Stadium in Saturday’s Liga match, they’re about to face Espanyol for the second time in just four days. But although a derby is always a derby, the context this time is very different. This time Barça will have the home advantage time, and rather than a league fixture, Wednesday at 8.30pm CET brings the first leg of a Copa del Rey round of 16 encounter.
Luis Enrique held the final training session before the game on Tuesday morning, with all of the available first team players in attendance on the Tito Vilanova field at the Ciutat Esportiva. And although he usually prefers not to reveal his squad decisions until the morning of the game, this time he opted to make the announcement a day early.
And the big news is that both Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal, now that the FIFA ban in including new players has terminated, have both been picked for the first time and are in line to make their long-awaited debuts at the Camp Nou.
But Sergi Roberto has been confirmed as absent. The midfielder hurt his thigh injury on Saturday and has not managed to recover in time, and his availability for future matches will depend on how the injury develops. Long-term absentee Rafinha is the only other fitness concern, while Luis Enrique also chose not to include Claudio Bravo, Douglas, Sandro or Adriano in his selection.
The complete list of players for the Copa del Rey first leg is thus as follows: Ter Stegen, Masip, Piqué, Rakitic, Sergio, Dani Alves, Arda Turan, A.Iniesta, Suárez, Messi, Neymar Jr, Mascherano, Bartra, Munir, Jordi Alba, Aleix Vidal, Vermaelen and Mathieu.