Barcelona have announced the starting XI that will take on Rayo Vallecano in the Copa del Rey round of 16. The biggest news? Lionel Messi is back! The captain starts through the centre, with Antoine Griezmann and Fransisco Trincao rounding the front three off from the left and right respectively.
Behind them, Riqui Puig gets his second start of the season on the back of his first goal for Barcelona. He is joined by Frenkie de Jong and Sergio Busquets in the midfield triumvirate.
Neto is given the responsibility to handle the gloves for this encounter, and screening him are Ronald Araujo and Clement Lenglet in the heart of the defence. Oscar Mingueza and Junior Firpo will give the width from the backline, finishing off the XI in the Kings’ Cup.
Confirmed XI: Neto; Mingueza, Araujo, Lenglet, Firpo; de Jong, Busquets, Puig; Trincao, Messi, Griezmann
Lionel Messi and Riqui Puig seemed to connect to each other last season starting together against Atletico Madrid and Deportivo Alaves, and tonight will be the first time they play together extensively after a long time. Either way, any opportunity to watch Messi is a treat!