UE Cornellà vs FC Barcelona
Competition/Round: 2020-21 Copa del Rey, Round of 32
Barcelona Outs & Doubts: Lionel Messi, Sergiño Dest, Ansu Fati, Gerard Piqué, Sergi Roberto, Philippe Coutinho (out)
Cornellà Outs & Doubts: Adrián Jiménez (out)
Date/Time: Thursday, January 21, 2021, 9pm CET/WAT (Barcelona & Nigeria), 8pm GMT (UK), 3pm ET, 12pm PT (USA), 1.30am IST (India, Friday)
Venue: Campo Nuevo Municipal de Cornellà, Cornellà de Llobregat, Catalonia, Spain
Referee: César Soto Grado
How to watch on TV: Not Available (USA), Premier Sports 2 (UK), Startimes Sports Arena (Nigeria), others
How to stream: ESPN+ (USA), Premier Player (UK), DAZN (Spain), others
Following a heartbreaking defeat in the Spanish Super Cup against Athletic Bilbao on Sunday, Barcelona return to action for their season debut in the Copa del Rey with a local derby against Cornellà.
Cornellà caused the upset of the tournament so far (until Alcoyano happened!), knocking out La Liga leaders Atlético Madrid in the Round of 64. Their formula was simple: score early, defend for their lives for the rest of the game and hope that Atlético’s bench players were not good enough on the night. They also play in an artifical pitch, which certainly helps against top-tier teams who aren’t used to this surface week in and week out.
The plan worked, so there’s no reason to expect anything different from the Third Division side against Barça. Ronald Koeman never rotates his squad but is expected to do so for this game, though we should see some big names on the bench since this is a one-off game that could go to extra time and penalties if Barça don’t kill the tie off early — or worse.
Barcelona (4-3-3): Neto; Mingueza, Araujo, Umtiti, Firpo; Ilaix, Pjanic, Puig; Trincão, Braithwaite, Konrad
Cornellà (5-3-2): Ramón; Guzmán, García-Die, García, Estellés, Prieto; Medina, Moreno, Dorca; Fernández, Eloy
This is a big game for Riqui Puig and Francisco Trincão if they start, and I expect both of them to lead Barça to an easy win and a spot in the next round: 4-1 to the good guys.