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Barcelona vs. Espanyol is a Time to Test Out Replacements for Suárez, Iniesta, Busquets and Roberto

The Catalan Supercup might be essentially a training match, but it will be a time to see how key subs will perform.

David Ramos/Getty Images

Barcelona has four key question marks in depth: subs for Luis Suárez, the injured Andrés Iniesta, Sergio Busquets, and Sergi Roberto. The Catalan Supercup will be an audition for replacements, likely Paco Alcácer, André Gomes, Denis Suárez and either Nili or Sergi Palencia, respectively.

Luis Suárez and Busquets have been among Barcelona's most-used players, while Luis Enrique has had to change formations to rest Roberto. Meanwhile, Iniesta's injury leaves a spot open in the starting XI.

Alcácer will be searching for his first goal in a Blaugrana shirt as he tries to get into rhythm. He's been unlucky at points, and he looks short on confidence right now, not to mention unsure of what to do in the system. He needs this game to pick up rhythm and give El Pistolero a breather.

Busquets has been playing a lot too, and Gomes has been OK as his deputy, but he's clearly not 100% comfortable either. Being an alternative to Busquets there will maximize his playing time and help his adaptation, as well.

Denis Suárez could become Iniesta's replacement in the starting XI as the captain heals from an injury that will keep him off the pitch for a month or two. He'll have a hard time pushing Arda Turan out of there, but he's a very good player. Either way, he will make his claim to be a bigger part of the rotation. He has some very big shoes to fill, and Barcelona is filled with talented midfielders. Denis will have to continue to work hard if he wants to make the spot his.

Finally, Roberto has essentially no backup as Aleix Vidal does not seem to be in Lucho's plans. A B teamer could really make an impression and put himself as the #2 RB. Both Nili and Palencia can play on the right, though Palencia will likely feature on the left. In a way both will be competing against each other.

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