Messi reappears in Vallecas against Rayo to take Barça to the quarterfinals of the Cup
With the presence of Leo Messi, who has served the two penalty games and is on the summoned list and recovered from his muscular discomfort, the Barcelona his future cupbearer is at stake in Vallecas before him Lightning, where coach Ronald Koeman must decide what aspirations his team has in this competition.
Apart from all of them, Sergiño Dest, who has not played for several games due to physical problems, returned to exercising alone and will be out, as will Sergi Roberto. The youth squad was expected to be discharged and returned to the team, after a few months of absence - missing since November 21, when he broke down in the Wanda Metropolitano against Atlético de Madrid - but has not yet received a medical discharge.
Sergi Roberto suffered a rupture in the hamstring of the right thigh and his loss has given Dest many games, to the point that he suffers muscle overload and, for that reason, Koeman has counted on Óscar Mingueza punctually in this demarcation.
Despite the bad body that left him after the final of the Super Cup, Messi can draw some positive conclusions from that defeat and from his absence from the team due to the expulsion, since you will have recovered from your muscle problems and you have seen your team move forward in the Copa del Rey and he has added a new victory in the League, although with many doubts in his game.
There are no doubts in Neto's alignment in goal. In the central axis, Umtiti, who already played in Elche, could continue, while Junior Firpo could relieve Alba of minutes. With Sergio Busquets, sure in the eleven, since he will rest against Athletic due to the accumulation of yellow cards, Pjanic could give rest to Frenkie de Jong, one of the most fit players of the Barça team, and Trincao, if Koeman decides to give Dembélé a little pause, he could have his first minutes as a starter.
In any case, Koeman doesn't look like he's going to reserve many of his headlines in a competition in which Atlético de Madrid and Real Madrid have already been left out. In front will be Rayo Vallecano, who will seek surprise after falling loudly against Mallorca on the last day and stopping their options for direct promotion by falling to a direct rival.
The Madrid team, which He had been excited about the Cup after reaching the round of 16, does not look favorably on their tie against Barcelona since the objective was not to give it up and against the Catalan team they see their options reduced. Rayo will face the game a lot depleted of troops, since he has several casualties due to coronavirus to which is added a fundamental player in Iraola's eleven, the Uruguayan central Emiliano Velázquez, who will be replaced by Esteban Saveljich.
The Basque coach will perform some rotations in your eleven, despite the few troops it has, and players like Joni Montiel or the Franco-Moroccan forward Yacine Qasmi could have minutes.
Barcelona and Rayo have met nineteen times -18 in the League and once in the Copa del Rey- at the Vallecas stadium, with a record of ten victories for the Catalan team, which has not lost at the Franco-red arena since 2002. That year, the Lightning achieved something that he had never achieved, beat him twice.
Vallecano Ray: Dimitrievski; Advíncula, Saveljich, Catena, Fran García; Comesaña, Trejo; Isi, Montiel, Álvaro; and Qasmi.
FC Barcelona: Net; Mingueza, Araujo, Umtiti, Junior Firpo; De Jong or Pjanic, Busquets, Pedri; Trincao or Dembélé, Messi and Griezmann.
Referee: Guillermo Cuadra Fernández (Balearic Committee).