Copa del Rey – Real Madrid vs Barcelona: The MSD prepare to storm the Bernabeu
Copa del Rey – Real Madrid vs Barcelona First choice front three set to start
The Copa del Rey has allowed Ernesto Valverde to rest his most important players and make rotations, particularly in his line of attack.
But the game at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday night is different; there’s a final at stake and Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele will lead from the front.
Valverde has changed things in the cup. Malcom, Munir El Haddadi, Denis Suarez and Kevin-Prince Boateng have all played, with some of these playing almost exclusively in this competition.
Barcelona‘s frontline has changed so often in the cup that it has never been repeated, with Valverde even moving away from his preferred 4-3-3 at times.
Barcelona have used a number of variations in their seven cup games but in none of these have Messi, Suarez and Dembele started. The trio are likely to feature together from the off at the Bernabeu as there is a final at stake.
The Argentine has started only two games in this season’s edition of the cup – both in return legs against Sevilla and Levante. The No.10 is fresh off the back of a hat-trick in LaLiga Santander at the weekend and he will be trusted to lead the Catalans to the final. He will fancy his chances, too, having scored 15 in 19 games away to Madrid. He is yet to score there in the Copa, though.
The Uruguayan has also played in just two Copa games this season, against Real Madrid and in the second leg against Sevilla. Suarez also scored in Seville and comes into the game full of confidence.
The third arrow in the front three, the Frenchman has three cup appearances under his belt this season and he has played in a number of positions in those matches.
The former Bordeaux winger has played more than anyone else in the Barcelona attack with five starts, while Coutinho is the next in line with four. However, both seem set to start on the bench in the capital.