NEWS
Wednesday January 17 2018
Line-ups: Espanyol-Barca

Barcelona name a weakened team against Catalan rivals Espanyol in this Copa del Rey quarter-final first leg.

Jasper Cillessen, Lucas Digne, Carles Alena, Aleix Vidal and Denis Suarez all come into Barca’s XI, although Lionel Messi still starts up top.

However, new signing Yerry Mina does not make the squad at all, nor does fellow defender Javier Mascherano, who has practically agreed a move to China.

On the other hand, Rafinha is among the Blaugrana’s substitutes, despite speculation that the midfielder is close to joining Inter.

Espanyol, meanwhile, are still managed by Quique Sanchez Flores and go with a defensive 3-5-1-1 formation, which features the prolific Gerard Moreno at the tip.

Los Pericos have lost only one of their last six games but have not beaten Barca at home since January 2007, Ernesto Valverde’s side having also gone 29 matches without defeat.

The two sides’ last meeting in the Copa came in the 2015-16 Round of 16, when the holders ran out 6-1 winners on aggregate.

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Espanyol: Diego Lopez; Oscar Duarte, David Lopez, Naldo; Marc Navarro, Victor Sanchez, Fuego, Darder, Aaron; Granero; Gerard

Subs: Pau, Baptistao, Vila, Melendo, Javi Lopez, Piatti, Hermoso

Barcelona: Cillessen; Sergi Roberto, Pique, Vermaelen, Digne; Paulinho, Busquets, Alena; Vidal, Messi, Denis

Subs: Ter Stegen, Semedo, Rakitic, Suarez, Rafinha, Alba, Gomes

Referee: De Burgos Bengoetxea

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