Adriano and Javier Mascherano will form Barcelona’s centre-back pairing for tonight’s Copa del Rey final against Real Madrid.
AS has reported that none of Barca’s three senior orthodox centre-backs, Gerard Pique, Marc Bartra and Carles Puyol, will be fit for the game at Valencia’s Mestalla.
Instead, Tata Martino will field Mascherano and Adriano at the heart of the back four, declining to repeat the partnership of Mascherano and Sergio Busquets that was named for the weekend defeat to Granada.
Alex Song took Busquets’ position in midfield in that instance but it is expected that Busquets will revert to his usual role against Los Blancos.
Pique, Bartra and Puyol are with Barca in Valencia but Pique hasn’t trained at all as his cracked pelvic bone is still causing problems, while Bartra and Puyol trained away from the rest of the players and haven’t been medically cleared.