Match Preview: Linares Deportivo vs. Barcelona

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Match Preview: Linares Deportivo vs. Barcelona

Match Preview: Linares Deportivo vs. Barcelona

Linares Deportivo will host Barcelona for the Copa Del Rey game on Wednesday night. Barcelona will be aiming to advance to the last-16 stage of the Copa del Rey when they head to Andalusia on Wednesday evening to take on third-tier side Linares Deportivo. The visitors are the holders of the competition, having beaten Athletic Bilbao in last season’s final.

Linares Deportivo play in the third division of Spanish football. Having been founded in 2008, they’ve never played in the top flight. They did manage to beat Barcelona B recently. The Little Blues had only previously managed to reach the second round of the Copa del Rey in their previous three participations in the tournament, so this campaign already represents their best ever performance.

Alberto Gonzalez’s side beat Gimnastic Tarragona on penalties and then 2-1 to Alaves to reach this stage of the competition. Linares Deportivo also recorded a 4-0 victory over Sevilla’s second team in their last league contest, which left them in 14th position in their domestic table, boasting 22 points from their opening 17 matches.

FC Barcelona will enter the contest with a 1-0 win over Mallorca in La Liga three days ago. The only goal of the game was scored by Luuk de Jong who is suspended for this game. Xavi is missing a number of key players due to injury and coronavirus for this game. The team sits fifth in La Liga, a point behind Atletico de Madrid in fourth.

Barcelona, as mentioned, are the most successful team in the history of the Copa del Rey, lifting the trophy on 31 occasions. Xavi’s team are 15 points behind league leaders Real Madrid, so winning the league this season seems impossible. The Catalans are fighting for the top four this term to qualify for the UEFA Champions League.

Linares Deportivo Copa del Rey form:

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Linares Deportivo form (all competitions):

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Barcelona form (all competitions):

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TEAM NEWS

Linares Deportivo

All players are fit for the game.

Fran Carnicer and Rodri are again in line for spots in midfield, with Cristian Carracedo and Nando Copete competing for starting roles.

Barcelona

Memphis Depay, Sergi Roberto, Pedri, Ansu Fati and Martin Braithwaite are out through injury for this game.

Sergio Bousquets is back from suspension, but Luuk de Jong is suspended.

Philippe Coutinho, Abde Ezzalzouli, Gavi, Ousmane Dembele, Alejandro Balde, Jordi Alba and Sergino Dest are out following recent positive coronavirus tests.

Ilias Akhomach and Ferran Jutgla are again in line for starts in attack.

EXPECTED LINEUPS

Linares Deportivo

Brimah; Perejon, Lara, Gomez, Barbosa; Sanchidrian, Alex, Rodri, Carnicer; Diaz, Etxaniz

Barcelona

Neto; Mingueza, Lenglet, Umtiti, Araujo; Nico, Busquets, Puig; Akhomach, L de Jong, Jutgla

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