29 years ago, the Dream Team had already captured the La Liga title under Johan Cruyff and were looking to continue their victory tour at the Estadio Ramón de Carranza. Yet, to the tune of a 4-0 dismantling at the hands of the hosts, centre-back Ronald Koeman and company left the south of Spain with little to celebrate.

I doubt that the current FC Barcelona manager is still looking for revenge for a match that didn’t impact the trophy chase back in 1991, but maybe he learned the lesson not to underestimate Cádiz.

This season’s version of El Submarino Amarillo isn’t a promoted side to underestimate, having won their first four away matches of the season to take themselves to the top half of the table.0 It’s been less than stellar since, having won just one in their last five and capturing one solitary point from the five matches at home. It’s a real shame as well – the Carranza is a cathedral of Spanish football that buzzes in a special way with fans.

So not only will Cádiz not have their home support, but they are meeting a Barcelona side that is getting healthier by the day. Gerard Piqué and Sergi Roberto are still out for a few months, and Samuel Umtiti is apparently very close to a return, but the attacking unit is rested and ready to go.

Lionel Messi, Philippe Coutinho and Marc-Andre ter Stegen didn’t make the trip to Hungary midweek, and Ronald Araújo is back in the squad. Lenglet will obviously start, but it almost feels like a luxury that Koeman gets to choose between Araújo and Óscar Mingueza. Mingueza is yet to concede a goal with the first team, with wins of 4-0, 4-0, and 3-0 under his belt.

The rest of the squad will be fairly simple to select. Messi and Coutinho will start, while Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembélé are both in fine form and deserve to start as well. Though don’t be surprised if Pedri is back in the XI and Dembélé gets used as the most devastating substitute in La Liga again. I said simple, but maybe not so simple when considering the change that Martin Braithwaite has made since being inserted in the line-up. I think Braithwaite goes back to the bench, but Koeman may switch back to what’s worked recently if things aren’t going well.

The double pivot will be Frenkie de Jong and one of Sergio Busquets or Miralem Pjanic of course, and the one that Koeman chooses may tell you what kind of match he expects. So far this season Cádiz under Álvaro Cervera have been willing to sit back, defend in a 4-4-2, and counter-attack through the middle of the field.

La Liga veteran Álvaro Negredo would be a name to watch, but he is nursing an injury. Both he and Salvi Sánchez have two goals this season, and Salvi is the one that Barcelona would be wise to keep off the ball. If Salvi does get ahold of it, Álvaro Giménez should be the man up top looking to do something with it.

Unfortunately the virus has had an affect on Barcelona’s opponent, as former Barcelona B striker Anthony Lozano will not be an option. While he won’t be featuring, there is still Fali, Alberto Perea and Bobby Adekanye, as Cádiz have a few faces that those who follow Barcleona B and La Masia might be familiar with.

While not a former Barcelona player, Álex Fernández, 28-year-old midfielder and brother of Real Madrid’s Nacho, is the player that has impressed me most this season for the southwest Spanish side. He doesn’t play at a larger club because he doesn’t necessarily do one thing at an extremely high level, but he seems to do everything at a very good level. He can be physical, but he also has plenty of technique. He seems to serve as the engine of the team, but is selfish on the ball when he needs to be. If Cádiz are to upset Barcelona the way they did back in 1991, and the way they did against Real Madrid earlier this season, Álex Fernández is the man to watch.

Expected Line-up:

Barcelona (4-2-3-1): ter Stegen; Alba, Lenglet, Mingueza, Dest; de Jong, Pjanic; Griezmann, Coutinho, Dembélé; Messi

Cádiz (4-4-2): Ledesma; Espino, Mauro, Fali, Carcelén; Sánchez, Fernández, Jonsson, Izquierdo; Malbasic, Giménez

Dan Hilton is an American journalist, broadcaster, and current Editor-in-Chief of BarcaBlog. Extensive work as a play-by-play broadcaster, producer behind the scenes, and quite average player in his younger years has given him a well-rounded and informative perspective on the sport. Alongside BarcaBlog founder Francesc, Dan started The Barcelona Podcast in 2017.