Copa del Rey Preview: L’Hospitalet vs FC Barcelona 1st Leg

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

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3 Responses to Copa del Rey Preview: L’Hospitalet vs FC Barcelona 1st Leg

  1. bc9jaCulé says:

    I’m also itching to get to see a glimpse of Rafhina tonight. Should be an interesting game especially with the reserves having a very good chance of mixing up with the big boys. Now what a blend that would be.

    And Nic, thanks for the link you provided for the Bilbao game — it really helped define my concerns in a more tactically balanced format.

    Visca Barça!!!
    Força Barça!!!

  2. barcacentralomer says:

    Super podcast Nic. I’m also looking forward to seeing more of the next generation of Barca’s superstars. Rafinha seems to be highly rated by a lot of people but I’ll have to see more of the guy in action before making my mind up. Just wondering hasn’t JDS’s growth been stalled somewhat with Cesc and Thiago gradually easing themselves into top notch back-ups for Xavi and Iniesta. Further if even one or two among Roberto, Gerard D and Rafinha turn out to be as good as a lot of people think they are, surely JDS would have very limited options at Barca.

    Nic, I tend to agree with you about Pep perhaps trying to over-experiment with Cesc being tried out as false No 9. I mean sure Abidal and Masch might have been turned into world class CBs along with a lot of other players being successful in diff positions, the various formations/player rotations can’t always work out and with Real showing little signs of weakness at present – how long can we afford to experiment. I’m not trying to criticise Pep who’s the best manager in the world but I do worry if these modifications are going to too far.

    Regarding England – I have to say the current crop of players are mostly overpaid, spoilt and overrated. Maybe its the money, the media that hypes them up or they’re just an ungrateful lot who don’t appreciate the pride and honour that England teams in the past have displayed in the past. I still recall the England team in Italia ’90 as a tough unit ably managed by the great Sir Bobby. Unfortunately every team IMO from then on has been below par.

  3. FCB-Parbo says:

    A Messi less Barca, so gooo Villa. Shoot the damn ball in the net for us will you! I hope that with Messi out of sight he gets his confidence back.

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