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How will Barcelona line up against Cultural Leonesa in the Copa del Rey?

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A great chance to stake a claim

FC Barcelona v Boca Juniors - Joan Gamper Trophy Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Barcelona begin the defence of their Copa del Rey title on Wednesday, as they travel to third division side Cultural Leonesa.

The game will be a chance for fringe players and youngsters to show what they can do, with Ernesto Valverde having given seven of his first teamers some time off after the Clasico win.

Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba, Ivan Rakitic, Sergio Busquets, Philippe Coutinho and Luis Suarez will all be rested, so let’s have a look at who might feature.


FC Barcelona v FC Internazionale - UEFA Champions League Group B Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Jasper Cillessen missed training on Monday with gastroenteritis but is still expected to come in for Ter Stegen between the sticks. If not it’s between Inaki Pena and Lazar Carevic.

Youngsters Chumi, Jorge Cuenca and Juan Miranda look like they could get a chance in defence, and this is a great opportunity to try them out.

Ernesto Valverde may prefer to include some experience at the back too, which means Nelson Semedo and Clement Lenglet are options.


Valencia CF v FC Barcelona - La Liga Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

Ernesto Valverde has a host of midfielders who will be desperate for action after being sidelined for most of the season.

Arturo Vidal could get a rare start, while Denis Suarez, Carles Alena and Sergi Samper will all be hoping for a chance to impress.

There’s also the exciting prospect of seeing Riqui Puig feature at some point. The highly-rated 19-year-old has been a regular in training and could make an appearance.


FC Barcelona v FC Internazionale - UEFA Champions League Group B Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

There’s no Luis Suarez, no Lionel Messi and no Paco Alcacer for Barcelona so surely we will finally get to see Malcom, right?

Ousmane Dembele could also regain his place in the starting XI, while Munir will also come into the side and will be looking for his second goal of the season.

Possible starting XI: Cillessen; Semedo, Chumi, Lenglet, Miranda; Alena, Vidal, Denis; Malcom, Munir, Dembele.

How do you think Barcelona should line up on Wednesday? Let us know your thoughts, predictions and teams in the comments below!