Barcelona will be hoping to secure safe passage to the next round of the Copa del Rey when they take on Cultural Leonesa on Wednesday night.
The Catalan giants hold a slender 1-0 lead from the first leg which was played back in October, with Clement Lenglet’s injury-time goal the difference between the two sides on that occasion.
Coach Ernesto Valverde opted to make numerous changes for that clash, with several youngsters given an opportunity to impress while a number of key individuals were rested.
It’s expected that the Barcelona boss could go with the same strategy for this meeting at the Nou Camp, although the squad named below is relatively strong.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Ivan Rakitic, Ousmane Dembele, Arturo Vidal and Thomas Vermaelen are all included, and so it remains to be seen if any start or if Valverde goes with the expected option of rotating and giving his starlets another chance to shine.
It’s arguably not a great surprise that Lionel Messi has been left out as he prepares for the derby clash with Espanyol on Saturday instead, while as seen in the tweets below, several Barcelona fans are hoping to see Riqui Puig given an opportunity.
The 19-year-old has made 14 appearances for the youth team so far this season, but hasn’t been able to make an impression on Valverde. He earned high praise from AC Milan boss Gennaro Gattuso in pre-season, as noted by ESPN, and it seems these fans hope to see him in action on Wednesday night.
While some specifically mentioned him in their tweets, the youngster features prominently in many preferred line-ups too…
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) December 4, 2018
quiero que juegue riqui puig
— Eliany Obregón (@eobregon5) December 4, 2018
Ter/Cille… Miranda, chumi, verm, Semedo… O. Bus, Riqui, Aleña… Malcom, Munir, Dembele…
— ?????(NicoBrav)® (@NorwinBravo) December 4, 2018
Riqui in starting XI pls
— Stijn?? (@njitsl) December 4, 2018
— Yordan #PACMA (@REALyordaan) December 4, 2018
Riqui puig ???
— Ahmed Ehab (@Ahmad_sherbo) December 4, 2018
Ojalá este ONCE del Barça mañana:
Semedo, Vermaelen, Chumi, Miranda
Aleñà, Busquets, Riqui Puig
Malcom, Munir, Denis https://t.co/lNaXT0scxP
— Adrián Contreras (@AdriContrerass) December 4, 2018
¡Riqui Puig, Malcom y Dembélé titulares y Valverde fuera!
— Messi D10S (@MessiD10S_FCB) December 4, 2018
Cillessen semedo vermaelen chumi miranda oriol aleña riqui puig denis munir malcom
— Juan Diego (@juandig14) December 4, 2018
— Bert (@RobertFdez6) December 4, 2018