La Copa News 

Valverde’s trust in youth begins with Copa tie against Murcia

Ernesto Valverde will for the first time introduce a number of ‘B’ team players as Barcelona meet Murcia in the Copa del Rey on Tuesday evening.

Following the weekend victory over Malaga, Valverde chose to rest the likes of Andres Iniesta, Lionel Messi, Paulinho and Samuel Umtiti, handing them two days off and introducing a number of ‘B’ team members.

Barca, who trained on Sunday at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper will now travel to Murcia later on Tuesday before facing their opponents at the Estadio Nueva Condomina.

Valverde, who has been fairly rotational this season so far with his first team, has previously spoken about bringing in a number of youth team players and the inclusion of Jose Arnaiz, Carles Alena, Marc Cucurella, Oriol Busquets, Vitinho, Carles Perez and Adria Ortola in training has shown his faith in youth.

Whilst only Arnaiz, Alena, Ortola and Cucurella have been included in the match-day squad, it is expected that all except keeper Ortola will gain some valuable playing time with the first team.

Paco Alcacer has also been included and he will be hoping to stake his claim for more minute in La Liga after featuring on a handful of occasions this season.

Tuesday’s first leg will see Barca open their Copa title defence against lowly Murcia, who have won just twice in their last eight competitive games.

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