Picking the Best Potential Barcelona Lineup to Face Levante in the Copa del Rey on Thursday

Reigning Copa del Rey champions Barcelona face fellow La Liga side Levante in the first leg of the last 16 on Thursday.

The 30 time winners eased past Cultural Leonesa in the fourth round and Ernesto Valverde could make wholesale changes once more. 

Here’s how they could look for Thursday’s clash.

1. Goalkeeper & Defenders

Jasper Cillessen

Jasper Cillessen (GK) – Having made just four appearances last term behind number one choice Marc-Andre ter Stegen, the Netherlands international will be desperate to get a run out. 

Nelson Semedo (RB) – Becoming a regular under Valverde, the Portuguese speedster could make a third start in this season’s competition.

Juan Brandariz (CB) – The 19-year-old Barcelona prodigy has featured twice for the first team, including the 4-1 drubbing over Leonesa last time out. 

Clement Lenglet (CB) – In line to make his 21st appearance of the campaign, the French defender scored the winner in the first leg victory at Leonesa in October.

Jordi Alba (LB) – Yet to play in the Copa del Rey thus far, but given his experience it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the the former Valencia man included to keep their La Liga counterparts at bay.

2. Midfielders

Ivan Rakitic

Sergio Busquets (CDM) – Barca arguably have depth in every position but there’s no player capable of filling the boots of three time Champions League winner Busquets in defensive midfield.

Ivan Rakitic (CM) – Assisting three of their four goals in the last round, the Croatian’s pedigree is second to none.

Carles Alena (CM) – Having already scored in Spain’s top flight this term, the 20-year-old is slowly making inroads at his boyhood club and will do his chances of earning more first team opportunities no harm with an assured performance on Thursday. 

3. Forwards

Malcom

Malcom (RW) – The Brazilian winger has predominantly struggled to make a telling impact since his move from Bordeaux. He’ll be hoping for a more fruitful return in front of goal in 2019.

Luis Suarez (ST) – It seemed as though Munir may have been given the chance to play in midweek but he has likely played his last game for Barcelona, so Suarez should start instead.

Denis Suarez (LW) – Highly rated at the Blaugrana, the attacking midfielder is seeking a third goal in the Copa del Rey.

Let’