Gerard Pique and Neymar are benched for Barcelona’s Copa del Rey last-16 second leg against Espanyol as Lionel Messi is the only remnant of the ‘MSN’.

Pique and Neymar’s places are filled by Thomas Vermaelen and Munir El Haddadi, as FIFA Ballon d’Or winner Messi moves into the centre and Aleix Vidal to the right wing in light of Luis Suarez’s ban.

Elsewhere, there is no Jorda Alba in the matchday squad, while Marc-Andre ter Stegen, as usual for cup games, is named between the sticks.

Espanyol, meanwhile, give only a second and third appearance of the season to goalkeeper Francesco Bardi and centre-back Michael Ciani respectively.

Coaches Luis Enrique and Constantin Galca met before tonight’s game, in a bid to diffuse tensions, which overshadowed the Catalan rivals’ last two encounters,

Espanyol: Bardi; Rober, Ciani, Alvaro, Duarte; Jordan, Sevilla, Abraham; Burgui, Caicedo, Asensio

Subs: Pau, Alvarez, Roco, Gerard, Montanes, Lopez, Mamadou

Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Alves, Mascherano, Vermaelen, Mathieu; Sergi, Rakitic, Arda; Vidal, Messi, Munir

Subs: Masip, Pique, Busquets, Iniesta, Neymar, Bartra, Adriano

Referee: Fernandez Borbalan