News From Spain: Barcelona midfielder tipped for just second start this season in Copa del Rey

Barcelona will take on CF Intercity in the third round of the Copa del Rey, as the Blaugrana make their debut in the competition.

The side from Alicante beat Mirandes 2-0 in the previous round to set themselves up with one of the biggest draws available in Barcelona. They faced Barcelona Atletic in a December, which ended in a 0-0 draw against Rafa Marquez’s side.

Xavi Hernandez’s side are of course locked in a busy schedule as they try to retain the lead in La Liga. Having failed to beat Espanyol in a frustrating draw on Saturday, Barcelona will face Atletico Madrid on Sunday, before heading off to Saudi Arabia to compete in the Spanish Supercup against Real Betis, and if they win, one of Valencia or Real Madrid.

It is not clear how much Xavi will rotate for the match. The Catalan coach was angered by the Espanyol result and did not give his side New Year’s day off as a result, making it clear there would be no complacency in the Copa del Rey.

However it could be a major chance for 19-year-old midfielder Pablo Torre. The talented technician arrived from Racing Santander in the summer but with the pressure on and competition for places fierce, has been unable to enjoy much game time so far.

Starting just once against Viktoria Plzen in a meaningless Champions League game, that was one of four appearances, amounting to just 108 minutes. He has also played one match with Barca Atletic this season. Sport say that this will be his big chance to shine and earn more minutes this season.

Torre is highly regarded by Xavi and most feel he will develop into a fine player, but without opportunities, it is tricky for him to continue pushing ahead in his development. Scoring against Plzen, if Torre can take his chance against Intercity, it might be the catalyst for more minutes in bigger games.