Copa del Rey Preview: Barcelona - Valencia
The injury-hit Catalan outfit hold a slender advantage heading into Wednesday's semi-final second leg showdown with Unai Emery's side
By Karthick Arvinth
Alves, Pique, Puyol, Abidal
Xavi, Mascherano, Fabregas
Sanchez, Messi, Tello
Miguel, Rami, Ruiz, Mathieu
Piatti, Jonas, Alba
Sergio Busquets is a major doubt for Barcelona's make-or-break clash with Valencia after he suffered a gash to his knee in Saturday's win over Real Sociedad.
The defensive midfielder's injury stretches an already long sick list at Camp Nou, with Andres Iniesta, Pedro and David Villa all sidelined.
Coach Pep Guardiola could retain Cristian Tello in attack after the youngster impressed against Sociedad, while Xavi Hernandez, Gerard Pique and Alexis Sanchez are all likely to be restored to the starting line-up after being rested in the weekend fixture.
Valencia coach Unai Emery looks set to recall Ever Banega and Jonas to starting XI after the midfield duo were rested for Sunday's goalless draw at Atletico Madrid.
Los Che need to score to have any chance of progressing to the final, as Carles Puyol's header in the 1-1 draw at the Mestalla last week gives the Catalans the advantage on the away goals rule.
||DID YOU KNOW?|
- Barcelona are the most successful club in Copa del Rey history, having won it 25 times and finishing runners-up 10 times.
- The Catalan giants haven't lost a competitive match at Camp Nou since September 2010.
- With a seating capacity of just over 99,000, Barcelona's Camp Nou is the largest stadium in Europe.
- Valencia have won just once in their last nine away games in all competitions.
- Los Che haven't won at Barcelona for more than eight years, with their last victory coming in October 2003.
- Roberto Soldado (pictured) is the Mestalla club's leading scorer this campaign with 20 goals.
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Top 3 Predictions
FC Barcelona 3-1 Valencia CF
- 17.99 %
FC Barcelona 3-0 Valencia CF
- 14.55 %
FC Barcelona 2-0 Valencia CF
- 13.45 %
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Sep 1, 2013||Valencia CF 2 - FC Barcelona 3|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Feb 3, 2013||Valencia CF 1 - FC Barcelona 1|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Sep 2, 2012||FC Barcelona 1 - Valencia CF 0|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Feb 19, 2012||FC Barcelona 5 - Valencia CF 1|
|Spain - Copa del Rey (ESPC)||Feb 8, 2012||FC Barcelona 2 - Valencia CF 0|
|Dec 1, 2013||Athletic Bilbao 1 - FC Barcelona 0||LIGA|
|Nov 26, 2013||Ajax 2 - FC Barcelona 1||UCL|
|Nov 23, 2013||FC Barcelona 4 - Granada 0||LIGA|
|Nov 10, 2013||Betis 1 - FC Barcelona 4||LIGA|
|Nov 6, 2013||FC Barcelona 3 - AC Milan 1||UCL|
|13||José Pinto Colorado||Goalkeeper|
|8||Andrés Iniesta Luján||Midfielder|
|12||Jonathan Dos Santos||Midfielder|
|20||Aritz Aduriz Zubeldia||Striker|
It's Barcelona. It's a big game. It's at Camp Nou. How many times has the Argentine maestro stepped up to the plate on occasions like these? Fatigued or not, the Catalan side will look to their No.10 for inspiration yet again to help fire them towards their third Copa final appearance in four years.
Valencia's poor run of form in recent weeks has coincided with a sticky patch for the ex-Real Madrid striker, who has scored just once in his last four outings. Los Che will need a big performance from their leading scorer to overcome the odds and knock the World and European champions out of the Copa del Rey.
After a series of sub-par displays in recent weeks that has seen them lose ground on Real Madrid in the league, Barcelona will be determined to make sure that they do not get beat here. The visitors are going through a poor run of results themselves, and it is difficult to see them turning it around at Camp Nou.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed