Cordoba - Barcelona Preview: Catalans continue Copa del Rey pursuit
After recording a hard-fought victory over Betis on Sunday, in which Lionel Messi wrote himself into the record books, Tito Vilanova's side return to cup action on Wednesday night
By Alec Fenn
Garcia, Gaspar, Kiko, Fernandez
Silva, Gomez, Garai, Dubarbier
Montoya, Song, Puyol, Planas
Alcantara, Busquets, Roberto
Sanchez, Villa, Tello
It is a case of familiar territory for Barcelona on Wednesday night as they continue their pursuit of Copa del Rey glory.
On 26 occasions they have lifted the famous trophy, including last season's 3-0 triumph over Athletic Bilbao, which also happened to be Pep Guardiola's final game in charge of the club.
The 2-1 victory over Betis on Sunday maintained the Catalans' unbeaten start to their La Liga season, while also playing host to a moment of footballing history, as Lionel Messi struck his 85th and 86th goals of 2012 to break Gerd Muller's long-standing haul of strikes in a calendar year.
But an injury to Cesc Fabregas means the midfielder will be absent on Tuesday and for up to four weeks with a thigh strain, while a host of changes are to be expected given the close proximity between the two games.
Cordoba are without Cristian Ramos through suspension, while Gaspar Galvez and Jose Fernandez are both one booking away from triggering bans.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Barcelona forward Lionel Messi broke Gerd Muller's record of 85 goals in a calendar year with two strikes in the 2-1 win over Betis on Sunday night.
- The Catalans are still unbeaten in La Liga this season but have tasted defeat in cup competitions. They were beaten 2-1 by Real Madrid in the Super Cup and lost 1-0 to Celtic in the Champions League.
- The Blaugrana have lifted the Copa del Rey on 26 occasions, the last of which came last season when they beat Athletic Bilbao 3-0 thanks to a Pedro double and a Lionel Messi strike.
- Cordoba have beaten Elche, Sabadell and Real Sociedad on their way to the Round of 16.
- The Segunda Division club are enduring a poor run of form. They are without a win in their last five games, drawing three times and tasting defeat twice.
- That run of form has left the club in 11th spot, four points behind Barcelona B who occupy sixth position.
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Top 3 Predictions
Córdoba 0-5 FC Barcelona
- 14.48 %
Córdoba 0-3 FC Barcelona
- 13.44 %
Córdoba 0-4 FC Barcelona
- 11.44 %
|Spain - Copa del Rey (ESPC)||Jan 10, 2013||FC Barcelona 5 - Córdoba 0|
|Spain - Copa del Rey (ESPC)||Dec 12, 2012||Córdoba 0 - FC Barcelona 2|
|Jun 9, 2013||Numancia 1 - Córdoba 0||ESP2|
|Jun 2, 2013||Córdoba 1 - CD Mirandés 2||ESP2|
|May 26, 2013||Recreativo 2 - Córdoba 1||ESP2|
|May 18, 2013||Córdoba 2 - S.D. Huesca 2||ESP2|
|May 11, 2013||Sporting de Gijon 3 - Córdoba 0||ESP2|
|Returns:||Cordoba £3510.00||Sign up with bet365 for a free bet up to £200|
|Returns:||Draw £610.00||Sign up with William Hill for a free bet up to £25|
|Returns:||Barcelona £12.00||Sign up to Paddy Power for £250 in free bets|
|13||José Pinto Colorado||Goalkeeper|
|12||Jonathan Dos Santos||Midfielder|
At just 18-years-old the attacking midfielder is one of the club's brightest young prospects. He is likely to operate just behind Javier Patino in a 4-4-1-1 formation and he will be looking to score his fourth goal of the season at the 14th attempt.
He might only be 21-years-old but the young prospect is already showing signs of following in the footsteps of the club's current esteemed midfielders. Comfortable in possession and with goals in his locker, he looks likely to be given another opportunity to impress on Tuesday.
There will undoubtedly be a number of changes from Barcelona's 2-1 victory over Betis on Sunday, but even without a host of first team regulars expect them to have far too much for a Cordoba side on a terrible run of form.
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed