Franck Kessie and Ansu Fati will start when Barcelona and AD Ceuta face off at Estadio Alfonso Murube in the Round of 16 on Thursday.
Barcelona will aim to reach the Copa Del Rey quarter-finals when they lock horns with AD Ceuta at Estadio Alfonso Murube on Thursday night. And Xavi Hernandez has all his resources available for his side’s latest fixture.
Xavi has named a strong travelling squad to take on Ceuta, with Memphis Depay and Ronald Araujo the only players unavailable. But he should rotate his troops on Thursday as games continue to come thick and fast. So the bench will have some formidable players ready if the visitors need an impact substitute.
During his pre-match press conference, Xavi spoke about the squad he has picked. In addition, the media asked him about Memphis Depay. But the Barcelona manager refused to reveal anything amid widespread rumours linking the Dutchman with Atletico Madrid.
Xavi said (h/t Barca Universal), “The player who needs the rest the most is Araujo. I just want to rest him. The rest of the squad is available. The list will be released after the training session. Everyone will travel except one or two due to exhaustion. We will see which B team players to call up. In principle, Angel Alcaron will come. But we will decide after training.”
On Depay, Xavi said, “I don’t have any news about Memphis. He is a professional and I’m glad he’s here. He’s a good person in the dressing room, and I count on him. If Memphis wants to leave, it will be a personal decision from him. I am going to speak to him today to see if he wants to leave or not, to see what he wants to do. It’s not an easy situation when you don’t play a lot.”
Inaki Pena should feature between the sticks, with Marc-Andre ter Stegen earning some rest. And Barcelona will line up in a 4-3-3 formation in front of him. Andreas Christensen might be the only player retaining his spot in the starting lineup on Thursday.
The Danish defender will likely line up alongside the beleaguered Eric Garcia at the heart of the defence. Hector Bellerin, another player who has rarely featured this season, will be the right-back. And Jordi Alba should return on the left flank, replacing Alejandro Balde.
The midfield unit will also see fringe players getting an opportunity. So Franck Kessie should sit at the base of the midfield. And Kessie will likely join Sergi Roberto and Pablo Torre in the middle of the park.
As for the offensive department, Ferran Torres might spearhead the Barcelona attack against AD Ceuta. The Spaniard should accompany Ansu Fati and Raphinha in the final third. Meanwhile, Xavi will be able to call upon players like Pedri, Gavi, Frenkie de Jong, and Robert Lewandowski off the bench.
Predicted Barcelona XI: Pena; Bellerin, Garcia, Christensen, Alba; Roberto, Kessie, Torre; Raphinha, Torres, Fati