Iniesta, Xavi to miss Barca’s Copa del Rey opener

Midfielders Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez have added their

names to Barcelona’s list of key injured players, ruling them out

of Friday’s Copa del Rey opener at third-tier Cartagena.

Barcelona says both players will rest for precaution after they

noted pain in leg muscles.

Barcelona, which was already without injured forward Lionel

Messi, goalkeeper Victor Valdes and defender Dani Alves, has

recovered defender Jordi Alba. Two muscle injuries had sidelined

Alba since mid-September.

Coach Gerardo Martino left Gerard Pique off his squad.

Barcelona has lost its last two games, but it still shares the

joint lead of the Spanish league with Atletico Madrid.

Barcelona will play the return leg of its round-of-32 tie with

Cartagena at Camp Nou in two weeks.