By Karl Matchett.


Barcelona have already all but qualified for the Copa del Rey final, having trounced Valencia 7-0 in the first leg of the semis-but the second leg at the Mestalla must be completed nonetheless, giving Luis Enrique a chance to rest key individuals for bigger battles ahead, and hand starts to those still looking to nail down a regular place in the team.


It's likely that for the final itself, the manager will stick with a full-strength side, but there remains a lot of games ahead in La Liga and the UEFA Champions League as Barça search for another treble of trophies come the end of the season.


Big performances, especially showing a good attitude with little to play for, can help sway the decision to get more game time as the season heads into the final months, so even with a seven-goal advantage there are several players with a lot riding on their displays in the second leg. 

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Jeremy Mathieu


In the centre of defence, Frenchman Jeremy Mathieu has re-exerted his dominance as the third choice, edging ahead of Thomas Vermaelen despite both having an unconvincing and inconsistent time of things when making starts previously.


With Marc Bartra well down the order in defence, Mathieu is the one who can really push the first choice pairing-plus left-back Jordi Alba-for regular game time in the event of injury or loss of form.


At his best, Mathieu is a powerful and aggressive defender who can bring the ball out of defence quickly. Against his old side he'll have no excuses for anything other than a perfect display if he wants a chance of playing in the final.


Sergi Roberto


Into midfield, Sergi Roberto has played every Copa game this season which he has been fit for, filling a variety of roles as he earns the manager's trust with his resilient and impressive performances.

Whether at right-back earlier on in the season or across the entire midfield arrangement since October or so, Sergi Roberto's blend of calm work in possession and an aggressive option with his off-the-ball movement means he can either help to control a match, or to push it in Barcelona's favour. In La Liga he hasn't been starting much of late, just one of the last four games, so the Copa should be his setting for a regular berth in the team.


Early on this season it was Sergi Roberto who filled in for established stars such as Andres Iniesta, Dani Alves and even on the flank in place of the injured Leo Messi and a place in the final would be fitting reward for his great progression-but first he must show that consistency with fitness as well as technique, by performing well in the semis.

Aleix Vidal

It's possible that Aleix Vidal could come into the team at right-back for the Copa, but he may also be utilised by Luis Enrique in a more advanced role on the wing, with Messi recently having had minor surgery.


The former Sevilla man has been a regular part of the team since becoming eligible in January and has put in several notable performances already, including claiming two assists from the right side in the earlier Copa del Rey rounds.


Until the end of the season, the battle for right-back is likely to continue between Alves and Vidal, and it's the Spaniard who should get his chance to shine against Valencia.


Despite having a bad time of things earlier in the season, Munir has had some success since the turn of the year, notably in the Copa as he scored against both Athletic Club and Espanyol as a centre-forward rather than playing from the flank.

There's little doubt that his best role is through the middle and his displays in 2016 have warranted another run-out, even if Liga minutes are hard to come by now.

The big question mark over Munir is whether he has the mentality and consistency to regularly perform for a club where the demands and comparisons are as big as they are at Barcelona, especially after he failed earlier on this season when played regularly, but those answers may be put on hold for more meaningful games or the end of the season.

Given another chance, perhaps another goal or two will boost his self-esteem to the needed levels, so a semi-final opportunity should definitely be headed Munir's way-then it's up to him to take it.