Barcelona’s quest for Copa del Rey glory continues on Wednesday when they host Cultural Leonesa in the second leg of their round-of-32 clash.
If the Catalans thought they might get things easy against the Segunda Division B side, they were proven wrong in the first leg.
It took a stoppage-time Clement Lenglet goal to give them the 1-0 advantage they take to Camp Nou in midweek, with the fans anticipating a more decisive display from their favourites back on home turf.
Cultural, meanwhile, are out to create one of the great shocks.
|Game||Barcelona vs Cultural Leonesa|
|Date||Wednesday, December 5|
|Time||8:30pm GMT/3:30pm ET|
TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch
In the United States (US), the game can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial) .
New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
|beIN Sports||fubo TV (7-day free trial)|
In the United Kingdom (UK), the game will not be broadcast.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
Squads & Team News
|Goalkeepers||Ter Stegen, Cillessen|
|Defenders||Semedo, Lenglet, Chumi, Vermaelen, Miranda|
|Midfielders||Rakitic, Coutinho, Vidal, D. Suarez, Alena, Puig, Collado, O. Busquets, Jaime|
|Forwards||Dembele, Malcom, Munir|
Ernesto Valverde has numerous problems to juggle ahead of this clash, particularly in the defence.
Jasper Cillessen returnsto the fold for this clash after training on Monday, but centre-back Samuel Umtiti is missing. Thomas Vermaelen is out. Sergi Roberto, meanwhile, is out until Christmas.
Midfielders Arthur and Rafinha are both missing, the latter is out for six months, while Luis Suarez is laid up with a knee problem.
Heavy rotation can be expected for this clash, with Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets and Gerard Pique among those to be rested.
Barcelona XI: Cillessen, Semedo, Chumi, Lenglet, Miranda, Alena, Rakitic, O. Busquets, Malcom, Munir, D. Suarez
|Position||Cultural Leonesa players|
|Defenders||Ulbizua, Garrido, Escalante, Alsonso, Viti, Saul, Bernal, Albizua, Nicho|
|Midfielders||Y. Gonzalez, Marcos, Martinez, Romero, Sene, Capilla, Mancebo|
|Forwards||Rodriguez, Liberto, Delgado, Zelu, Ortiz, Aridane|
Centre-back Unai Albizua is set to come back into contention after missing the first match between these sides.
Cultural XI: Palatsi, Diaz, Villarig, Albizua, Dominguz, Mancebo, Romero, Gonzalez, Sene, Ortiz, Rodriguez.
Betting & Match Odds
Barcelona are red-hot 1/20 favourites to win this game bet365. Cultural Leonesa are priced 33/1 to create an upset while a draw is 11/1.
Barcelona regained top spot in La Liga at the weekend thanks to a combination of their 2-0 victory over Villarreal and Sevilla’s 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid.
They have a slender one-point lead over the Andalusians but, with a mere five points spread over the top five clubs in the Primera Division, there are multiple threats this season.
Given the tight nature of the league, and the fact that they have already qualified in Europe, it is La Liga that will hold their focus before Christmas, with a derby against Espanyol, a trip to Levante and a match against Celta to come before the break.
The Copa del Rey will, therefore, take a back seat, yet they will expect to progress with few problems against opponents who are minnows in comparison.
However, they were given a rough ride in the first leg.
“For me this is one of the worst games of the year, the first of the cup each year, as this game is always very difficult,” head coach Ernesto Valverde pointed out.
“I do not enjoy these games very much.
“The opponent always plays at 200% and are very different from those who play in La Liga.
“You are always a little more nervous.
“Nothing is decided in this tie; Cultural played a very good match and everything is up in the air.”
Barca’s opponents, meanwhile, have not been going well in the third tier. They have failed to win any of their last five matches, and though four of these ended drawn, they were defeated 2-0 by Salamanca on Sunday.
If they were to avoid defeat – let alone qualify – it would be a simply enormous achievement.