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Villanovense game a danger for Barca, coach says

Villanovense game a danger for Barca, coach says

Luis Enrique

BARCELONA (Reuters) – Holders Barcelona will be not be taking Wednesday’s King’s Cup last 32, second leg at home to Villanovense lightly after the third-tier side secured a 0-0 draw in the first leg, coach Luis Enrique said on Tuesday.

Luis Enrique fielded a second-string side at Villanovense in late October and Barca were unable to find an away goal against the minnows from Villanueva de la Serena — birthplace of New York Knicks point guard Jose Manuel Calderon.

The Barca coach would not reveal his planned starting lineup for Wednesday’s return at the Nou Camp, including whether a fit-again Lionel Messi will participate, but made it clear he would field a team strong enough to guarantee a place in the last 16.

“Taking the first leg into account, it’s a dangerous result because a draw would eliminate us, except a 0-0, so we are approaching the game with the level of seriousness we bring to any tie,” Luis Enrique told a news conference.

“It is going to be a starting 11 that brings certainty,” added the former Barca and Spain midfielder.

“To win the Cup you have to get past the last 32 and right now we are tied at 0-0.”

Barca extended their record for King’s Cup titles to 27 when they beat Athletic Bilbao, who are second with 23 victories, 3-1 in last year’s final.

(Writing by Iain Rogers, editing by Ed Osmond)

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