Barcelona could be in for a shock against Hércules. The Segunda B minnows earned a draw at home against the Catalan giants, and they need either a win or a high enough scoring to draw to proceed into the next round of the Copa del Rey.
Luis Enrique has allowed Lionel Messi, Luis Suárez, Neymar and Gerard Piqué an early break for Christmas, meaning four of the team’s best players will be completely unavailable. First leg goalscorer Carles Aleñá will be out with an injury.
The manager explained that it was unlikely MSN or Piqué would ever feature in this kind of fixture, regardless of the date, so giving them a break would help them come back refreshed.
But with the result still hanging in the balance, is it a risk? "Managing a football team is taking risks," he said.
Hércules have a chance, albeit a small one, to spring the surprise. Luis Enrique’s men better be prepared.