Real Sociedad host Barcelona at the Anoeta stadium for the first leg of their Copa del Rey tie tonight
Barcelona will be looking for their first win in 9 games against Sociedad at the Anoeta stadium, as they look to recreate their brilliant performances over the last two games. Lionel Messi – who has hinted at a contract extension with the Catalans – has been in particularly brilliant form after scoring 3 fantastic free-kicks in 3 successive games.
The only new injury concern going into this game for Enrique is Rafael Alcantara, who is out with a hamstring injury. Enrique has also chosen to rest Marc-Andre ter Stegen and will likely replace him with Jasper Cillessen in goal.
Pique has also left Aleix Vidal and Jeremy Mathieu out of the squad, and admitted that he had a hard decision to make regarding the right-back who was in fine form against Las Palmas: “A coach’s job is taking decisions and I have to leave some players at home, I can only take 18,” he said, according to the club’s official Website.
Meanwhile, Gerard Pique, Jordi Masip, Sergi Roberto and Denis Suarez have all returned to the side after sitting out the match against Las Palmas. Pique will likely start in defence alongside Samuel Umtiti, while Roberto will slot back into the right-back position that he has made his own.
Enrique is expected to name a strong starting eleven, as Barcelona take this competition very seriously. Lucas Digne might start ahead of Jordi Alba as he has done on several occasions in the competition this season but other than that, there are expected to be no surprises.
Neymar will likely start as well after being left out against Las Palmas, while Suarez and Messi will retain their places. A midfield of Andre Gomes, Sergio Busquets and Andres Iniesta has been Enrique’s preferred combination and it is likely he will opt for the same midfield once again.
Goalkeepers : Jasper Cillessen, Jordi Masip
Defenders : Gerard Piqué, Javier Mascherano, Jordi Alba, Lucas Digne, Sergi Roberto, Samuel Umtiti
Midfielders : Ivan Rakitic, Sergio Busquets, Denis Suárez, Arda Turan, Andrés Iniesta, André Gomes
Forwards : Luis Suárez, Lionel Messi, Neymar Jr, Paco Alcácer