Kevin-Prince Boateng is in line to make his debut for Barcelona, when they take on Sevilla at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium in the Copa del Rey.
Barcelona will be aiming to take a big step towards defending their Copa del Rey crown, when they travel to the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium to take on Sevilla in the first leg fixture of their quarter-final tie on Wednesday night.
Ernesto Valverde does not have many pressing injury concerns to deal with ahead of the trip to Seville, with the goalkeeping department, in particular, being scot free. Jasper Cillessen should thus, replace Marc-Andre ter Stegen, taking up his customary place in the Barcelona goal for cup fixtures.
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In defence, the Barcelona boss is without two central defenders, with Samuel Umtiti on the treatment table due to a long-term knee injury, while Jeison Murillo is suspended after accumulating three yellow cards in his three previous appearances in the Copa del Rey.
As a result, Gerard Pique should keep his place at the heart of the Barcelona defence. Clement Lenglet should be his central defensive partner, with Valverde still managing Thomas Vermaelen after his recent return from injury.
The full-backs should be Jordi Alba, for whom there’s no alternative in the travelling squad, and Nelson Semedo, whose rotation with Sergi Roberto will continue. Meanwhile, Valverde has included Riqui Puig and Oriol Busquets in the squad that has travelled to face Sevilla, while Sergio Busquets has been rested.
But, the two La Masia products are only likely to make an appearance off the bench in the second half, with Arthur, Arturo Vidal and Ivan Rakitic expected to form the midfield trident for Barcelona. In attack, Ousmane Dembele is a short-term absentee while Lionel Messi has been inexplicably rested.
The third spot in the front trio is thus, up for grabs, with Philippe Coutinho and Luis Suarez being certain starters. Kevin-Prince Boateng is an option, and Valverde talked about Barcelona’s latest signing during his pre-match press conference, while also iterating how big a challenge Sevilla will pose over the two legs.
“Sevilla are a great team with experience in the qualifying rounds and have the measure of this competition. Kevin-Prince Boateng is a player who has experience, knows the league and the role he will develop. We hope he helps us, he is a strong player.”
Boateng is only likely to be an option off the bench, but should make his Barcelona debut just a day after completing his loan move from Sassuolo, coming off the bench in the second half. The final spot in the side though, should be taken up by Malcom, making it an all South American attack for the visitors.