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Barca rest key players for Cup clash, Adriano returns
January 9, 2013 / 1:06 PM / 5 years ago

Barca rest key players for Cup clash, Adriano returns

Barcelona's player Xavi Hernandez (R) celebrates Andres Iniesta's goal against Valencia during their Spanish first division soccer match at Nou Camp stadium in Barcelona, October16, 2010. REUTERS/Gustau Nacarino/Files

MADRID (Reuters) - Holders Barcelona will rest midfielders Xavi and Andres Iniesta, centre back Gerard Pique and forward Pedro for Thursday’s King’s Cup last-16 second leg at home to second-division Cordoba, the club said on Wednesday.

Barca have a 2-0 lead from last month’s first leg and despite the absence of the Spain quartet should have little trouble securing a last-eight meeting with Malaga, who eliminated third-tier Eibar on Tuesday.

Barca fullback Adriano, who picked up a minor muscle injury at the end of December and missed Sunday’s 4-0 La Liga win at home to Espanyol, returned to training on Wednesday and had been included in the squad, the club said in a statement on their website (www.fcbarcelona.es).

Argentina forward Lionel Messi, who collected a record fourth consecutive FIFA Ballon d‘Or award on Monday, was also available, they added.

Reporting by Iain Rogers, editing by Clare Fallon

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