Barcelona start preparations for Copa del Rey without Pique, MSN

Barcelona, Dec 19 (IANS) FC Barcelona on Monday started to prepare for the Copa del Rey match against Hercules without defender Gerard Pique, as well as the South American attacking trio of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez, revered as MSN.

Barcelona will host Hercules on Wednesday for the second leg of the Copa del Rey’s round of 32 at Camp Nou after a 1-1 draw in the first leg, reports Efe.

Barcelona coach Luis Enrique gave permission to the four players to miss the last commitment of the year.

After beating Espanyol 4-1 Sunday in La Liga at the Camp Nou stadium, Barcelona returned to normal training on Monday.

Barcelona will train again on Tuesday and afterwards Luis Enrique will hold a press conference to assess how the team will play the last game of the year.