Due to our participation in the Club World Cup next month we have been forced to bring forward our opening Copa del Rey tie at Hospitalet tomorrow night (kick off time 10pm) which means we will be without certain players due to international duty. Our South American players have all been called up and won’t be available while Thiago Alcantara and Isaac Cuenca can’t play as they are with the Spanish under 21s squad.
The full Spanish squad players have been given permission to remain with Barça before joining Del Bosque on Thursday for the trip to play England. So Guardiola has 13 first teamers while Gerard Deulofeu, Sergi Roberto, Rafinha, Cristian Tello and Johnathan Dos Santos have trained with the first team this week and will be called up to make up the numbers. The lack of first team strikers means we should get to see more of young Deulofeu while I have to say I am dying to see Thiago’s younger brother Rafinha who I believe is in line for a first team debut
I can’t tell you anything about Hospitalet apart from they play in the Segunda B. I haven’t had time to research them as I have been busy today sorting out the Barçacentral Google+ page. If you haven’t joined up you should as you can also follow the Barça official page or Leo Messi’s page or… well, there’s the whole world out there, and there’s the bonus of being able to follow this blog from there too. However, if you want to hear a little (admittedly not a great deal) more on Hospitalet you could listen to the latest Talking Barça podcast where we also speak about other interesting stuff like the Athletic game, Gerard Piqué and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
18-man squad for the game: Valdés, Pinto, Puyol, Piqué, Abidal, Maxwell, Fontás, Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta, Fabregas, Keita, Villa, Tello, Rafinha, Deulofeu, Dos Santos, Sergi Roberto.
Possible starting XI: Pinto, Dos Santos, Fontás, Maxwell; Busquets, Sergi Roberto, Keita, Cesc; Tello, Rafinha, Deulofeu.
My prediction: L’Hospitalet 1 Barça 2