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How will Barcelona line up against Rayo Vallecano?

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It’s Copa del Rey time

Elche CF v FC Barcelona - La Liga Santander Photo by Jose Breton/Pics Action/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Barcelona play an eighth straight away game on Wednesday when they take on Segunda Division side Rayo Vallecano in the last 16 of the Copa del Rey.

Ronald Koeman will be able to call on Lionel Messi once again after the captain completed a two-match ban, while Sergino Dest and Sergi Roberto could also be fit to return.

Let’s look at how they might line-up:

Defense

Cornella v FC Barcelona - Copa del Rey Photo by Pedro Salado/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Neto looks set to take over from Marc-Andre ter Stegen and start in goal for this one, while Dest and Roberto have both returned to training and either could feature at right-back.

Clement Lenglet may take over from Samuel Umtiti alongside Ronald Araujo in central defence with Junior Firpo getting the nod over Jordi Alba at left-back.

Midfield

Elche CF v FC Barcelona - La Liga Santander Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Sergio Busquets is suspended for Barca’s next league match against Athletic and so could continue in midfield against Rayo. He is likely to be joined by Riqui Puig following his first goal for the Catalan giants at the weekend.

Miralem Pjanic is another player who looks set to be named in Koeman’s starting XI, although Ilaix Moriba will be hoping for more first-team minutes after making his debut in the win over Cornella in the last round.

Attack

ESP: Elche CF-FC Barcelona La Liga Santander. Photo by Sergio Ruiz/Pressinphoto / Icon Sport

Messi is available again after completing his two-match ban, although it remains to be seen if Koeman will start his captain or leave him until the weekend’s game against Athletic.

Francisco Trincao could start after a bright showing against Elche. The 21-year-old came close to opening his account after coming on as a substitute in the second half.

Koeman has relied on Ousmane Dembele, Martin Braithwaite and Antoine Griezmann in recent weeks but is likely to offer at last one of the trio a rest on Wednesday. Konrad de la Fuente is also an option after a bright cameo against Cornella.

Possible XI: Neto; Dest, Araujo, Lenglet, Firpo; Pjanic, Busquets, Puig; Trincao, Messi, Braithwaite.

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