Martino to make final decision on Puyol, Pique and Barta on Wednesday

The Argentine coach has confirmed he will wait until the last training session before deciding who to play against Real Madrid but says they won’t be risked if not fully fit

Barcelona boss Gerardo Martino will make a final decision on Wednesday as to whether to play defenders Gerard Pique and Carles Puyol in the Copa del Rey final.

The Blaugrana had hoped that at least one of the Spain internationals would recover from their respective hip and knee injuries on time to face Carlo Ancelotti’s side but, while both have travelled with the squad to Valencia, neither have yet been given the medical green light to play.

Marc Barta has been battling a hamstring problem, meaning he too could sit out the clash and, although Martino admits he has been encouraged by what he has seen over the last few days, he insists he will not take any risks over the trio.

“We have options with any of the three,” he told a press conference on Tuesday. “We had good responses today, we will see tomorrow after training.

“Nobody is going to play if they are not in the condition to do so.”

Martino admitted it would provide a major boost to the side should Puyol in particular be passed fit, with the captain set to play in his last cup final for Barca before leaving Camp Nou at the end of the season.

“I hold Puyol in the highest regard both professionally and personally,” added Martino. “If he plays, it will be a great boost, both for the team and for the players individually.”

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