Venue: Camp Nou Date: 06/01/2016, Kick-off: 7:30 PM GMT / 02:30 PM EST,
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FC Barcelona have lost their reign at the top of the league table, at the moment, with their draw against RCD Espanyol. Now in 2nd, they face Espanyol again for the first leg of the Copa Del Rey Round of 16.
But by far the biggest news for the culés is the lifting of Barca’s transfer ban from FIFA which prevented them from including new players. Luis Enrique has confirmed that both Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal are set to make their debut on Wednesday’s fixture but is unsure how long they will play for.
The 23-man shortlist was confirmed by Enrique earlier today with Marc-Andre Ter Stegen in goal. His Champions League group stage performances have fluctuated this season by the numbers. And rumors are already circulating that the young German keeper is requesting a move away due to lack of playing time.
But Enrique has faith in his individuals and has decided to leave Claudio Bravo in Spain
Jordi Alba should play at right-back as he was a great attacking threat against Espanyol and even played the full 90 minutes.
Javier Mascherano had a good performance as well, but was given a yellow card in the middle of the first half. This could prompt Enrique to start Jeremy Mathieu for the fixture alongside Gerard Piqué at center-back.
It’s pretty much pre-written that Aleix Vidal will start at right-back, taking Dani Alves‘ starting position and old kit number: 22. I expect the agile full-back to play the 90′ and preform well.
With Arda Turan set to start in Barca colors, I see Ivan Rakitic taking a backseat for the Turkish international to play alongside Andres Iniesta and Sergio Busquets in the midfield. With Turan bursting through the center, left or right, it will make the midfield a whole lot attack-minded come Wednesday.
The holy MSN trident: Lionel Messi, Luis Suárez and Neymar are going to start and hopefully put some chances away to make up for their previous mistakes against Espanyol. I predict Messi and Neymar to score some worldies.
Assumed bench: Jordi Masip, Ivan Rakitic, Dani Alves, Marc Bartra, Munir El Haddadi, Thomas Vermaelan, Javier Mascherano
Via – Lineup Builder