Barcelona face Leganes in the round of 16 of the Copa del Rey on Thursday evening, and Quique Setien has gone with a strong 18-man squad.
The Catalan giants suffered a defeat to Valencia at the weekend as they lost ground in the La Liga title race to rivals Real Madrid.
In turn, they’ll be looking to produce an immediate reaction, and that means advancing in the cup to keep their hopes of a domestic double alive.
After seeing off Ibiza in the last round, Setien is clearly taking the competition seriously now as Lionel Messi, Gerard Pique and Sergio Busquets are all included in the match-day squad having been rested in the last round.
However, there is no room for talented youngster Riqui Puig, with Sport noting that he didn’t feature at the Mestalla last weekend due to illness.
With that in mind, it may well be the case that he hasn’t sufficiently recovered to be involved in midweek, but as per the tweets below, many fans were left disappointed that he didn’t get the nod as these cup games are arguably ideal to give him minutes to allow him to improve and develop his game by gaining experience.
Nevertheless, there is certainly enough quality and experience in this squad to get the job done and that means advancing to the next round with minimal fuss and preparing for the clash with Levante at the Nou Camp on Sunday night.
Having brought their stalwarts back into the mix, Barcelona will surely feel well equipped to secure a victory and a morale boost on Thursday night.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) January 30, 2020
Y riqui Puig ??
— luistualiza (@LuistcYah) January 30, 2020
Ya vamos a matar a Riqui Puig??…
— De Rivia (@ironside_83) January 30, 2020
Please don’t destroy this boys career Riqui Puig.
— MAMBA ??? (@OfficialStan) January 30, 2020
No Riqui ??
— Elena ? (@Barcelenaa) January 30, 2020
— ????. (@FcbHamrin) January 30, 2020
— ANDREA (@dembouzela) January 30, 2020
Puig still not back? I’m concerned.
— Ahmed?? (@FuriousRantz16) January 30, 2020