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Rafinha returns as Barcelona announce squad for Copa del Rey match against Espanyol

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Ernesto Valverde has called up 18 players for the first leg of the Spanish Cup quarterfinals

FC Barcelona v Chapecoense - Joan Gamper Trophy Photo by Xavier Bonilla/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The next Barcelona match is upon us! The Blaugrana travel across town for a local Derby against Espanyol in the first leg of the Copa del Rey quarterfinals, and Ernesto Valverde has called up 18 players to be in uniform on Wednesday night.

This is the full squad:


Goalkeepers: 1. Marc-André ter Stegen, 13. Jasper Cillessen

Defenders: 2. Nélson Semedo, 3. Gerard Piqué, 18. Jordi Alba, 19. Lucas Digne, 20. Sergi Roberto, 25. Thomas Vermaelen

Midfielders: 4. Ivan Rakitic, 5. Sergio Busquets, 6. Denis Suarez, 12. Rafinha Alcântara, 15. Paulinho Bezerra, 21. André Gomes, 22. Aleix Vidal, 26. Carles Aleñá

Forwards: 9. Luis Suárez, 10. Lionel Messi


Valverde had a tough time putting this squad together: Javier Mascherano and Andrés Iniesta became late injury issues with minor muscle problems, while Ousmane Dembélé joins Samuel Umtiti, Philippe Coutinho and Paco Alcácer in the long-term injury list. Gerard Deulofeu is the only one left out per technical decision, while Yerry Mina is still unclear to play. With only 17 first-teamers available for selection, Carles Aleñá from Barça B will suit up with the big boys.

Predicted starting XI (4-4-2):

Cillessen; Semedo, Piqué, Vermaelen, Digne; Roberto, Rakitic, Busquets, Denis; Messi, Suárez


The match kicks off at 21:00 CET/WAT (Barcelona/Nigeria), 20:00 GMT (UK), 15:00 EST, 12:00 PST (USA), 01:30 IST (India, next day), and you can join us to follow and comment all the action.

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