Barcelona vs Linares LIVE Football Score 5 Jan 2022
Linares Deportivo vs Barcelona Team News
Linares Deportivo have a fully-fit squad at the moment and will need to field their best team in this game. The hosts are unlikely to make drastic changes to their team for this match.
Barcelona have as many as eight players ruled out with COVID-19 and will need to field a second-string side this week. Memphis Depay, Martin Braithwaite, Ansu Fati, and Sergi Roberto are injured and have been ruled out of this fixture.
Barcelona will be aiming to advance to the last-16 stage of the Copa del Rey when they head to Andalusia on Wednesday evening to take on third-tier side Linares Deportivo.
The visitors are the holders of the competition, having beaten Athletic Bilbao in last season’s final, while they are the most successful team in the history of the tournament, lifting the trophy on 31 occasions.
Linares Deportivo, who operate in the third tier of Spanish football, were only founded in 2009 and have never operated at the top level, most recently playing in the fourth and third tiers.
The Little Blues had only previously managed to reach the second round of the Copa del Rey in their previous three participations in the tournament, so this campaign already represents their best ever performance.
Indeed, Alberto Gonzalez’s side beat Gimnastic Tarragona on penalties in the first round before recording a famous 2-1 victory over La Liga outfit Alaves in the second round in the middle of December.
Linares Deportivo also recorded a 4-0 victory over Sevilla’s second team in their last league contest, which left them in 14th position in their domestic table, boasting 22 points from their opening 17 matches.
Barcelona, meanwhile, will enter Wednesday’s contest off the back of a 1-0 win over Mallorca in La Liga, with the Catalan giants managing to triumph despite their lengthy absentee list.
Indeed, Xavi’s side were missing a number of first-team players through a mixture of injury and coronavirus but secured a huge result on Sunday to rise into fifth position in the table, just one point behind fourth-placed Atletico Madrid on the same number of games (19).
Barcelona, as mentioned, are the most successful team in the history of the Copa del Rey, lifting the trophy on 31 occasions, including last season, when they beat Athletic Bilbao 4-0 in the final.
Xavi’s team are 15 points behind league leaders Real Madrid, so a title challenge is incredibly unlikely, while the club failed to qualify for the last-16 stage of the Champions League, meaning that the Copa del Rey might be their best chance of securing major silverware this term, although the Europa League is also an option.
Barcelona have been victorious in five of their last six Copa del Rey fixtures, but they have only won one of their last four away matches and will once again be missing a number of first-team players here.
Linares Deportivo’s side is expected to be similar to the one that started against Alaves in the second round of the competition, with a 4-4-2 formation including Hugo Diaz in the final third.
Fran Carnicer and Rodri are again in line for spots in midfield, but head coach Gonzalez has plenty of options for change in the attacking areas, with Cristian Carracedo and Nando Copete competing for starting roles.
Barcelona, meanwhile, will again be without the services of Memphis Depay, Sergi Roberto, Pedri, Ansu Fati and Martin Braithwaite through injury, but Sergio Busquets is back, having served a suspension.
The visitors are also expected to again be without Philippe Coutinho, Abde Ezzalzouli, Gavi, Ousmane Dembele, Alejandro Balde, Jordi Alba and Sergino Dest following recent positive coronavirus tests.
Samuel Umtiti and Clement Lenglet were both on the bench at the weekend, though, despite recently testing positive for the virus, and the pair could into the XI here, while Neto is set to feature in goal.
Luuk de Jong scored the winner against Mallorca and should retain his spot in the final third of the field, while Ilias Akhomach and Ferran Jutgla are again in line for starts in attack.