David Villa has been getting increasingly frustrated with his lack of playing opportunities for FC Barcelona, so he will want to prove his worth against Cordoba tonight. After playing for just 50 minutes as a substitute in the last six league games, Villa will start in the Copa Del Rey tonight.
There will be a number of first team regulars who are not in the team, including Xavi, Iniesta, Pedro and Pique, who are all rested. Adriano has failed a fitness test so will also miss out. Messi is in the squad but may not start, which raises more questions about the relationship between the two strikers. It is more likely, however, that they occupy the same position so are not ideally suited to playing together, although they have done so with some success when Villa has played this season.
The 31-year old Spanish international was heavily linked with a January move to the Premier league and Arsenal, but the Barcelona president has insisted that the club will not release Villa as we need him for the rest of a crucial season. What happens in the summer, however, may be a different matter, especially if the Brazilian star Neymar finally comes to the Nou Camp.
Barca are two goals up from the first leg, so we should easily progress to the next round against Malaga, but Villa will definitely not be taking it easy. He will be desperate to show that he deserves a regular place in the starting line up.