Predicted Barcelona Lineup To Face Alaves In Copa Del Rey Final
Reigning champions Barcelona will have one final shot at getting their hands on a silverware this season, when they take on Alaves in the finals of the Copa Del Rey, on Saturday night, at the Vicente Calderon.
It will be Luis Enrique’s the final match in charge of the Catalans and he will want to finish off on a high after having led his team to a couple of trophy-laden seasons. The occasion marks the 40th time Barcelona will be playing the finals of the Copa Del Rey, while it is the first time that their opposition have made it this far.
Barcelona will be without versatile right-back Sergi Roberto and star striker Luis Suarez, as they will be suspended for the game after being sent off in the second leg of the semi-finals of the competition against Atletico Madrid. Gerard Pique is fit again and he should be in line for a return. The same cannot be said about Javier Mascherano who has missed the last two games due to a thigh injury and is likely to miss out again. Aleix Vidal and Rafinha are ruled out.
Probable Barcelona Starting XI
Manager: Luis Enrique
Jasper Cilessen (GK)
The Dutchman has been extensively used in this competition and has missed just one game. Expect him to retain his spot for the finals as well.
Andre Gomes (RB)
Enrique has been deploying the midfielder in a right-back role in the past few weeks, most likely because of this final game. Will be a surprise selection in an unnatural role.
Gerard Pique (CB)
Having missed the previous two league games due to illness, the senior centre-back is expected to return to the starting XI on Saturday night.
Samuel Umtiti (CB)
The Frenchman has been brilliant over the course of the season and is an undisputed starter.
Jordi Alba (LB)
The 28-year old has been facing a lot of flak after his disgraceful dive to win a penalty in Barca’s final league game. Will want to take everyone’s attention away from that with a strong performance.
Ivan Rakitic (CM)
Has been a hit and a miss this season as he has struggled for consistency. Will want to end on a high by contributing towards a trophy win.
Sergio Busquets (DM)
After going through a dismal start, Barcelona’s midfield anchorman has managed to resurrect his season in the second half. A strong display is needed if his team are to come away with the silverware.
Andres Iniesta (CM)
The veteran midfield conductor for Barcelona will have a huge role to play if the Catalans are to end up on the winning side.
Lionel Messi (RW)
Has been Barcelona’s go-to man for the big occasions for so many years now. He will need to deliver in a big way for them to get their hands on the cup.
Paco Alcacer (ST)
With Suarez suspended, the summer signing will get the nod for the finals. He has had a poor debut season, but it will be a great ending if he manages to fire Barcelona to a cup triumph on Saturday night.
The Brazilian maverick will be Barcelona’s biggest threat in the attack, next to Leo Messi. With Suarez unavailable, he will have to take up more responsibility.