Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez will be rested for Barcelona's Copa del Rey trip to Hercules on Wednesday night (30 November) ahead of the weekend visit of Real Madrid. Meanwhile, Luis Enrique welcomes back Samuel Umtiti and Arda Turan to a 16-man squad that also includes five B-team players in the shape of the promising Carles Aleñá, Alex Carbonell, Nili, Borja López and Marc Cardona.
The La Liga giants have won the Copa del Rey in both of the last two campaigns. However, they will begin the defence of their title with a much-changed line-up as the first leg of the round of 32 comes just three days before the long-awaited first El Clasico of the season against Real Madrid.
Messi, Neymar and Suarez have all been left out of the squad, alongside other key players such as Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Sergio Busquets, Ivan Rakitic and Javier Mascherano, in a strong indication that they will start when Los Blancos visit the Nou Camp on Saturday (3 December).
Jordi Alba, Gerard Pique and Jeremy Mathieu are also out amid concerns over their fitness, while Iniesta will miss the game due to suspension – but Luis Enrique confirmed on Tuesday that that the Barcelona captain could return to action against Real Madrid following more than a month on the sidelines.
Meanwhile, Luis Enrique has two main positives in his 16-man squad for Hercules in the shape of Umtiti and Turan.
The French centre-back suffered a muscle injury during the recent international break but has received medical clearance to play the Copa del Rey encounter, and could even start in order to gain match fitness ahead of the visit of Real Madrid. Meanwhile, Turan is also ready to play against Hercules after missing the weekend draw with Real Sociedad.
Aleñá, Carbonell, Nili, Borja López and Cardona have also been promoted from the second team to complete the squad, and may have a chance to make the line-up alongside regular fringe players like Paco Alcacer, Jasper Cillessen or Lucas Digne.
Barcelona travel to Hercules on the back of two consecutive disappointing draws in La Liga against Malaga and Real Sociedad and will be looking to get a positive result to build up momentum ahead of the visit of Real Madrid.