Barcelona vs Cultural Leonesa Preview
Barcelona look to seal their spot in the Copa del Rey round of 16 when they host Cultural Leonesa at Camp Nou Wednesday night.
The Catalan quest to glory took a small bump as they were only able to defeat “La Cultu” by the slimmest margin in the first leg. A first leg that saw Clement Lenglet score the decisive goal in stoppage time.
Meanwhile, the Segunda Division B side are looking to make some noise despite their mini crisis that sees them losing their last five games.
Cultural Leonesa boss Victor Cesa won’t be able to count on Sergio Marcos. Marcos was sent off in the first leg. Additionally, he may rest regular starters Hugo Rodriguez and Aridane Santana ahead of their next match in division.
Meanwhile, Ernesto Valverde may once again rest regular starters. 19-year-old Riqui Puig could make his official debut against Cultural Leonesa. Additionally, he has shown Andres Iniesta flashes at times that has wow the crow. Also, La Masilla product was highly praised during the Summer Tour with Barcelona.
Lionel Messi, Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets have been left out of the matchday squad. However, Luis Suarez, Arthur Melo, Sergi Roberto, Samuel Umtiti, Rafinha and Sergi Samper are all unavailable due to injury.
Additionally, Valverde will have available returnees Jasper Cillessen and Thomas Vermaelen.
Barcelona: Cillessen; Semedo, Chumi, Vermaelen, Miranda; Vidal, Oriol, Alena; Dembele, Munir, Malcom.
Cultural Leonesa: Palasti; Saul, Garrido, Romero, Escalante; Beltran, Bernal, Marcos, Ortiz; Santana, Garcia.
The head-to-head matchup between the two sides heavily favor the Catalans. However, without many of the regular starters the end-result may not be a bulky one for Barcelona. One can believe it should be easy but La Cultural have several agile players that may cause pain on the defensive end for Barcelona. The visitors will seek to surprise Barcelona with the same or more intensity that they had in the first leg.
Despite this, Barcelona’s firepower at front may be sufficient for the Catalans to surpass a difficult Cultural Leonesa.
Barcelona 3 – 1 Cultural Leonesa
Photo credit to FC Barcelona via Twitter