|Hércules vs Barcelona – Image: FCB
FC Barcelona kickoff the defence of their Copa del Rey crown when they travel to take on third division team Hércules in their first game of the 2016/2017 Cup season.
The Cataláns have won the last two editions of the tournament and are eyeing a third consecutive triumph, a quest that begins at Hércules on Wednesday night in Valencia.
Last season, Barça kicked off their tournament away against Villanovense and were surprisingly held to a 0-0 draw. Luis Enrique’s men have not been in their best form recently, failing to win either of their last two League games and not playing well for a very long time. Despite the fact that El Clásico comes up on Saturday, the fans would not take anything less than a win against Hércules even if it can be dubbed as a small game.
Luis Enrique has come under fire lately for Barça’s poor display, the coach will be delighted to welcome back Samuel Umtiti and captain Andrés Iniesta to the team as both players have recovered fully after spending the last few weeks out injured. However, Iniesta won’t feature as he’s suspended and Luis Enrique might rest Umtiti for Saturday’s Clásico.
Jérémy Mathieu is still battling with injuries and won’t be available for the game but Aleix Vidal is back in the team after being given time out to deal with Marital matters. Jasper Cillessen is set to start in goal with B player Marlon likely to man the central defence while Aleña and Cardona are also likely to be given the nod. We expect to see a weak Barça side on Wednesday night.
HÉRCULES VS BARCELONA
Date: Wednesday, 30 November, 2016
Time: 10:00pm CET
Venue: Estádio José Rico Pérez, Alicante, Valencia, Spain
Hércules 0-3 Barcelona
Barcelona 0-2 Hércules
Predicted Hércules Lineup: Buigues; Dalmau, Fernando, Bueso, Rojas, Pena; Chechu, Minano, Juanma, Gaspar; Berrocal
Predicted Barcelona Lineup: Jasper Cillessen; Aleix Vidal, Marlon Santos, Borja, Digne; Aleña, André Gomes, Rafinha; Cardona, Alcácer, Arda Turan
BarcaLens Prediction: Won’t be an entertaining game, Barça win – Hércules 0-3 Barça.