Barcelona star Sergi Roberto could make his return to action in the second leg of the Copa del Rey last 32 clash against Murcia on Wednesday night (29 November) after being included in Ernesto Valverde's 16-man squad alongside five players from the second team.
The Catalans host the Second Division B team with a 3-0 advantage after goals from debutant Jose Arnaiz, Paco Alcacer and Gerard Deulofeu led them to a comfortable victory in the reverse fixture played at the Nueva Condomina stadium last month.
Valverde has thus decided to give a rest to Lionel Messi, Marc Andre Ter Stegen, Ivan Rakitic, Sergio Busquets, Andrés Iniesta, Luis Suárez, Jordi Alba and Samuel Umtiti to have eight regular starters fresh for the upcoming La Liga clash with Celta Vigo on Saturday (2 December).
The Barcelona boss used a number of youngsters at Murcia and plans to do the same on Wednesday night, having promoted five players from the second team to his squad in the form of goalkeeper Adrian Ortola, Carles Aleñá, Oriol Busquets, Jose Arnaiz and David Costas.
"The team in Murcia included several reserve team players, and they lived up the occasion. And my idea is for some of those that travelled to get another chance, and to give a run-out to the players that aren't getting as many games," the Barcelona boss confirmed in his press conference ahead of the Copa del Rey clash.
"We got a favourable result in the first leg, but we still want to go out and perform well. And Murcia are doing better now. They've won five of their last six games and will be coming to put up a fight, to play well as a team. We'll need to play some good football to win this one."
The biggest news from Valverde's squad was the return of Sergi with the midfielder having missed the last four games due to a hamstring injury sustained during the goalless Champions League draw at Olympiakos on 31 October.
The Spaniard was originally ruled out for five weeks but his recovery has gone ahead of schedule and he will be ready to help his side in the busy upcoming month of December which will included a visit to Real Madrid in the first El Clasico of the La Liga campaign.
Meanwhile, the visit of Murcia will still come too early for Andre Gomes, Arda Turan, Javier Mascherano, Ousmane Dembele and Rafinha Alcantara after the five players already missed the weekend's 1-1 draw at Valencia due to different injuries.
Valverde has suggested that Gomes could also be back when Barcelona host Celta this weekend with the Portugal international having been training with the rest of his teammates since last Friday.
Barcelona 16-man squad to face Murcia:
Jasper Cillessen, Nelson Semedo, Gerard Piqué, Denis Suárez, Paulinho, Gerard Deulofeu, Paco Alcácer, Lucas Digne, Sergi Roberto, Aleix Vidal, Thomas Vermaelen, Adrian Ortolá , Carles Aleñá, Oriol Busquets, Jose Arnaiz and David Costas.