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Which Barcelona youngsters should play in the Copa del Rey?

Time to give the kids a chance?

International Champions Cup 2016 - Leicester City v Barcelona Photo by Nils Petter Nilsson/Ombrello/Getty Images

Barcelona head to Murcia on Tuesday night in the Copa del Rey with Ernesto Valverde set to shake up his squad and hopefully hand some youngsters a rare chance to impress.

The Barca coach has called up seven players to train with the first-team, while a number of first-teamers have been given some time off.

Marc-Andre Ter Stegen, Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta, Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi, Paulinho and Samuel Umtiti will all sit out the game, so who will come in?

Adrian Ortola

The Barcelona B goalkeeper will have to settle for a place on the bench on Tuesday, with Jasper Cillessen likely to start in place of Ter Stegen.

Ter Stegen has been brilliant for Barcelona this season, which is bad news for Cillessen who will really struggle for game time.

The Dutchman has not managed a single minute for Barcelona so far this season and the Copa del Rey looks like his best chance of football.

Marc Cucurella

Marc Cucurella is a serious option for Valverde at left-back and we will hopefully see him feature at Murcia.

Jordi Alba’s injury has allowed Lucas Digne to start Barca’s last two games, and he has done a decent job, even grabbing a goal against Olympiacos in the Champions League.

Digne could continue, but Cucurella is one of the club’s most highly-promising youngsters, and this is an excellent chance for him to impress with the first-team.

Carles Perez

Carles Perez is an outside shot to feature on Tuesday, he’s made six appearances for the B team this season, but all of those have come as a substitute and he’s yet to start.

Oriol Busquets

It’s possible we could see Oriol Busquets at some point, the 18-year-old is highly regarded but is perhaps a little behind the likes of Cucurella, Alena and Arnaiz.

Carles Alena

Like Cucurella, Alena is a serious option for Valverde, and given the club’s issues in midfield, it would be great to throw him in and see what he can do.

Alena is the captain of Barca B and was on target against Osasuna in their 2-2 draw on Friday - the leaders of the Segunda Division.

Alena made his debut in this competition last season, but has not had much of a look in since then. Definitely time to give him another chance.

Jose Arnaiz

We already know that Jose Arnaiz is in Valverde’s thoughts as he was asked about the youngster before the Champions League clash with Olympiacos.

“He is a young player with pace, confidence, goals. He has an important season ahead of him,” Valverde told reporters. “We always have an eye on the B team’s games and he’s started the season well and has many games ahead of him."

Arnaiz has started the season well, he has four goals in nine games for Barca B this season, is two-footed, loves to take on his defender and at 22, is surely ready for a chance.


Vitinho only arrived at Barcelona in July on loan from Palmeiras but has featured in 10 of Barca B’s games, starting eight.

The 19-year-old has been described as “super special” by Alena, and having lost a brilliant Brazilian in the summer, the emergence of another would be warmly welcomed.

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