Enrique's side are 7-0 up going into the second leg..

Luis Enrique to rest 11 Barcelona stars against Valencia in Copa del Rey second leg

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Barcelona manager Luis Enrique has announced the squad he will take to Valencia for the return leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final on Wednesday night.

The Spaniard saw his side dismantle Gary Neville’s men 7-0 in the first leg last week to render the prospect of a comeback near impossible.

Given their progression is nigh on guaranteed, Barcelona could be excused for using the fixture as an opportunity to give some of their academy players some first-team experience - and Enrique is prepared to do just that.


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The 45-year-old has elected to pull no fewer than 11 first-choice players from the 18-man squad tasked with securing the club’s fifth appearance in the Copa del Rey final since the 2010/11 season.

Lionel Messi, Neymar, Luis Suarez, Gerard Pique and Andres Iniesta have all been given the night off to allow the inclusion of several hot prospects from La Masia.

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Enrique has handed six Barca B players, including Wilfrid Kaptoum, Sergi Samper, Juan Camara and Gerard Gumbau, a chance to demonstrate their ability against La Liga opposition, while Under-19s starlet Carles Alena could also feature.

The Barcelona boss has not completely shuffled his deck, though, with first-team regulars Ivan Rakitic, Marc Bartra, Jeremy Mathieu and goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen also making the trip south.


Considering the advantage of a 7-0 buffer is likely to induce a hint of complacency among the Barcelona camp, the opportunity for Enrique to better Pep Guardiola’s record 28-match winning streak as head coach is sure to provide a motivational boost.

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