Copa Del Rey Preview: FC Barcelona vs Deportivo Alavés – Return LegBy: Ade C. | November 27th, 2012
In the pre-match press conference, Tito said that we must take this match seriously. He reminded us that Barça has recently taken up the bad habit of getting good leads and squandering them to give their loyal fans heart-trouble. But then he also said that it’s a good chance for players returning from injury and young’uns, and proceeded to leave Valdés, Iniesta, Piqué, Sergio, Xavi, Jordi Alba and Messi out of the squad, so our seriousness might be compromised.
With a 0-3 lead on the first leg, Tito feels confident enough to call up only Pinto, Cesc, Puyol, Villa, Thiago, Pedro, Adriano, Song, Masche, Montoya and JDS, plus Tello, Oier, Sergi Roberto, Deulofeu and Planas from Barça B. The Subs, The Recently Injured… and JDS.
The good news, injury wise, are that David Villa is back, after recovering from the ankle discomfort that saw him out of the squad this weekend. The bad news are Dani Alves, who had to be subbed during the Barça Blitzkrieg against Levante, will be out for 15-20 days with his latest thigh injury. Full squads are apparently a mythical creature, like unicorns and competent referees.
There isn’t much to say about this match. Other than the fact that Tito has to keep 7 first-team players on the pitch at all times, per regulations, it’s open to experimentation… but just how much can you experiment with a depleted squad and a handful of kids?
My proposed (and, thus, unlikely to happen) starting XI is,
With Adriano to come in for Planas to get some more playing time, and Sergi Roberto getting a look-in in the second half; maybe even Pedro, too, to see if he scores once and for all. Playing next to Puyol will probably do wonders for Alex Song, and playing at all will probably cheer JDS up something awful. And seeing Deulofeu will probably make a lot of football hipsters very happy and lead us all suffer through a couple of days of “the next Messi!” comments.
Remember, take this match seriously! Not only is everyone going to feel very silly if (through own goals, badly-defended set-pieces and Pinto being Pinto) Barça somehow manages to lose the tie, but this is a good opportunity to see the kids, watch Tito take chances, and enjoy my company on Twitter, where I’ll be commentating the match as it happens (to a chorus of people accusing me of being a madridista).
Some Related Barcelona Posts:
- Copa del Rey review: Deportivo Alavés 0, FC Barcelona 3, Or, A Little Treat
- Copa Del Rey Preview: Alavés vs Barça
- La Liga preview: Deportivo La Coruña vs Barça, Or, Of Villa, Defenders, and the Lack of Thereof
- Copa del Rey Final Preview: Athletic de Bilbao vs FC Barcelona