While FC Barcelona are almost always one of the favorites for winning the Copa Del Rey, they have actually won the cup only once in the last four years. La Blaugrana won the Copa Del Rey last time in the 2020-21 season when Ronald Koeman was in charge of the bench, and Messi was still the talisman for Barcelona on the pitch.
Copa Del Rey has gained even greater importance this season as La Blaugrana have already been eliminated from the Uefa Champions League, which makes it the second most important sporting objective for the club after winning La Liga. The Europa League and the Supercup are both beneath the King’s Cup in Barcelona’s list of priorities.
This quest for the Copa Del Rey 2022-2023 title begins tonight for FC Barcelona, as the club faces Intercity in the Round of 32. The Alicante club plays in the Third Division of Spanish football and is already in the relegation zone.
However, as experience shows, Copa ties are always difficult as weaker teams tend to give their all for a chance of silverware and for the glory of beating a top team and thus make it difficult for bigger clubs to advance from the knockout rounds. Thus, FC Barcelona will have to give their opponents the full respect they deserve, and take the match as seriously as they would take any league or Champions League tie.
Xavi has already planned for a number of rotations in this match, with Robert Lewandowski and Pedri not traveling with the team for this match, and a number of fringe players expected to feature in the starting lineup.
The Coach has already given hints that he will start Inaki Pena in goal, and the duo of Ronald Araujo and Eric Garcia will play in the center of the defense. Other players expected to get a rare start in this match are Hector Bellerin, Memphis Depay, Frank Kessie, and Pablo Torre as per the reports from Mundo Deportivo.