Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal are set to make their respective debuts for the club when FC Barcelona take on RCD Espanyol in the first leg of the pre-quarter final of the Copa del Rey.
Turan and Vidal were signed last summer but were ineligible to play for the club until the turn of the year because of a transfer ban imposed on FC Barcelona by FIFA for breaching rules on signing international players under the age of 18.
Enrique to make wholesale changes against Espanyol
Luis Enrique is expected to make a whole host of changes to the squad for Barcelona’s first leg Copa del Rey clash. Marc Andre ter Stegen will start between the sticks in place of Chilean International Claudio Bravo. Thomas Vermaelen, Marc Bartra and Jeremy Mathieu are also expected to feature in defence for the Blaugrana on the night.
Barcelona’s traditional back four of Gerard Pique, Javier Mascherano, Jordi Alba and Dani Alves have all been selected by Enrique as part of FC Barcelona’s 16 man squad but are expected to start from the bench. While Iniesta and Rakitic are expected to be rested, Munir El Haddadi is expected to start upfront alongside Neymar and Suarez with Messi dropping to midfield.
Speaking to the media before his side’s clash against derby rivals Espanyol, FC Barcelona manager Luis Enrique revealed that summer signings Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal are ready to make their first appearance for the club on Wednesday.
“Arda and Aleix Vidal are well, they are happy and they will both take part,” Luis Enrique said (via espnfc). “We will see how it goes, but both are ready to play 90 minutes.
“Arda has played with his national team, and Aleix is very good physically. Arda can play as an attacking midfielder or out wide. Aleix can play in three positions — full-back, interior or out wide. They can bring us many things.”
Sergi Roberto suffered a thigh injury during his substitute appearance at the weekend and has not fully recovered to feature on Wednesday. Claudio Bravo along with Douglas, Sandro and Adriano have been omitted by Enrique from his match day squad all together.
ai??i?? FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) January 5, 2016