Barcelona VS CF Intercity LIVE Football Score 04/01/2023
Barcelona, meanwhile, were back in action after the 2022 World Cup on Saturday, playing out a 1-1 draw with Espanyol in the Barcelona derby at Camp Nou. Xavi’s side took the lead through Marcos Alonso, but Joselu levelled the scores in the 73rd minute, and the points were ultimately shared, with the result taking the Catalan side back to the top of the table, albeit level on points (38) with the reigning champions Real Madrid. Barcelona have won the Copa del Rey on 31 occasions, in addition to finishing as runners-up 11 times, but this competition is third on their list of priorities this term, as they target success in La Liga and the Europa League.
Xavi’s team are entering a very busy period of their season, as they have a huge league game against Atletico Madrid on January 8 before facing Real Betis in the semi-finals of the Spanish Super Cup three days later. Barcelona will also take on Manchester United in a two-legged Europa League playoff next month, but their immediate focus will be on domestic matters, and it would be a huge shock if they were unable to progress to the last-16 stage of the Copa del Rey at the expense of Intercity. Following a disappointing draw in the Catalan derby against Espanyol on New Year’s Eve, Barcelona play their first game of 2023 as they make their Copa del Rey debut this season with a Round of 32 clash away to CF Intercity at the home of Hércules in the city of Alicante.
Intercity, as mentioned, have not been in action since recording a 2-0 victory over Mirandes in the last round of the Copa del Rey, and they have not reported any fresh injury concerns. As a result, it would not be a surprise to see the same XI that took to the field for the first whistle last time out also feature from the start on Wednesday night. A 5-3-2 formation is likely to include Soldevila and Pol Rioge in the final third of the field, while Cristian Herrera should retain his spot in midfield for the home side.
As for Barcelona, Jordi Alba was sent off against Espanyol at the weekend, but the ban does not relate to this competition, so he will be available for selection. Robert Lewandowski was also available despite the suspension that continues to hang over his head, with his involvement against Atletico in severe doubt, but he has been left out of the squad alongside Pedri.
Head coach Xavi will make wholesale changes to his starting side for this match, with almost an entirely new XI potentially being sent onto the field in the Copa del Rey. Inaki Pena could be given the nod between the sticks, while Ronald Araujo, Eric Garcia, Hector Bellerin, Franck Kessie and Memphis Depay are likely to be among those to come into the side. Xavi Hernández made it clear in his pre-match press conference that the Cup is one of Barça’s priorities, and as the competition’s record winners the Blaugrana certainly know how to navigate the dificulties of the tournament and find a way to go deep almost every year.
Winning La Liga is the number one goal for the year, but a domestic double with the Cup would no doubt be a sweet ending to a promising season. But the first game is always tricky as they face a lower lever side that will give everything they have to get a famous win against the mighty Barcelona.
That is the case for Intercity, who are looking for the biggest victory of their short, six-year history and requested the Spanish Federation to move the game to the biggest stadium in their town of Alicante. The home of Hércules will have almost 25,000 fans pack the venue and support their team all night, but the fact they are a Third Division team fighting for relegation doesn’t mean this will be an easy game.
As is often the case in these matches, the grass will be probably not be cut as short as it is at Camp Nou, so it’ll be harder for Barça to pass the ball and play their usual possession game. But Barça have the much superior squad despite missing Lewandowski and Pedri who will be rested, and there’s more than enough talent to make this a comfortable evening as long as they match Intercity’s intensity and desire, especially early on. Barcelona will be bidding to book their spot in the last-16 stage of the Copa del Rey when they make the trip to Spanish third-tier outfit Intercity on Wednesday night.
The visitors are the most successful side in the history of this competition, lifting the trophy on 31 occasions, with their last triumph coming during the 2020-21 campaign. Intercity have had to win twice to reach this stage of the competition, recording a 1-0 victory over Cirbonero in the first round on November 13 before a 2-0 success over Mirandes in the last round on December 20.
Oriol Soldevila made the breakthrough in the seventh minute of the contest before Miguel Mari doubled the home side’s advantage in the 66th minute, with Mirandes, who play in the second tier, being eliminated. Intercity play their league football in the Primera Division RFEF – Group 2, which is the third tier of Spain, and they are currently 16th in their league table, boasting 19 points from 17 matches.
Gustavo Siviero’s side have not actually been in league action since suffering a 1-0 defeat to Amorebieta on December 17, while they will continue their Primera Division RFEF – Group 2 campaign against Eldense on January 8. Intercity actually played Barcelona B at the start of December, and the points were shared in a goalless draw, but it would be fair to say that this will be a different level entirely for the home side.