Barcelona have been on a great run of form but now put their La Liga campaign on hold for a couple of weeks to focus on some domestic cup commitments.
A run of eight games unbeaten in La Liga has offered renewed hope for the future, but Barca are not due to play again in the league until January 24 at Elche.
Up next is the Spanish Super Cup in Andalusia and Barcelona will then head home for a Copa del Rey third-round clash at Cornella.
Real Sociedad are Barcelona’s next opponents on Wednesday with the teams due to meet less than a month since their La Liga clash at the Camp Nou.
Barca came from behind to run out 2-1 winners in that game, thanks to goals from Jordi Alba and Frenkie de Jong, and another victory will set up a final against Real Madrid or Athletic.
There’s no doubt this competition is way down the list of Barcelona’s priorities, but the team are in good form and a trophy in January would boost confidence and morale further.
It’s not clear if Ronald Koeman will look to rotate his squad against La Real, but he will surely make plenty of changes for the trip to Cornella on January 20.
Barca will of course be huge favorites to win the game but will be wary that the third-tier minnows despatched Atletico Madrid in the last round and would love another giantkilling.
The game will surely offer Riqui Puig the chance to make his long-awaited first start of the season, while other youngsters and fringe players such as Junior Firpo, Matheus, and Francisco Trincao should also get the nod.
There is also a chance we could see some B teamers. Konrad and Alex Collado are options, while Ilaix Moriba could make his debut after being called up to the matchday squad for the first time against Granada.