Barcelona - Cordoba Preview: Copa del Rey quarter-finals in sight for Catalans
The Blaugrana go into the game with a 2-0 cushion from the first leg between the two sides and will hope to finish off the job in front of home support at Camp Nou
By Alec Fenn
Alves, Pique, Puyol, Alba
Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta
Pedro, Messi, Villa
Fernandez, Gaspar, Alberto, Fuentes
Pedro, Caballero, Dubarbier
After a week of incredible individual success, Barcelona will turn their collective attentions back to team pursuits when they take on Cordoba in the second-leg of their last 16, Copa del Rey clash on Thursday evening.
Lionel Messi was awarded a fourth consecutive Ballon d'Or on Monday, beating off competition from team-mate Andres Iniesta, while a host of Blaugrana colleagues were named in the FIFPro World XI.
All that, of course, will count for nothing when the Segunda Division outfit arrive at Camp Nou, but with the cushion of a 2-0 first leg already in hand - thanks to a double from the Argentine - the odds are firmly stacked in the home side's favour.
Tito Vilanova will not be present in the dug-out to guide his side into the quarter-finals, as he sees a specialist in New York over his illness, but a strong line-up could be selected as Barca look shrug off any lingering rustiness from a two-week winter break.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Barcelona have won the Copa del Rey 26 times. Their first success came back in 1928 and their last in 2012.
- The Blaugrana beat Deportivo Alaves 6-1 on aggregate in the last round of the competition.
- Messi (pictured, right) won a record fourth consecutive Ballon d'Or on Monday and scored twice in the first leg clash against Cordoba.
- Cordoba sit in 12th place in Segunda Division, 21 points behind leaders Elche.
- Thursday's visitors go into the game on the back of a 0-0 draw with Mirandes on Sunday.
- A 4-2 aggregate victory over Real Sociedad sealed the Andalusian club's clash against the Catalans.
- The Blanquiverdes play their home football at the Nuevo Arcangel stadium, which has a capacity of 18,280.
|Sign up with William Hill for a free bet up to £25|
|Sign up with bet365 for a free bet up to £200|
|Sign up to Paddy Power for £250 in free bets|
|Sign up today with Coral and get a £50 FREE bet - no strings attached!|
|Sign up today with BetVictor and get a £25 FREE BET!|
|Sign up with Betway for an exclusive bet £10 get £20 free bet!|
Top 3 Predictions
FC Barcelona 4-0 Córdoba
- 16.89 %
FC Barcelona 5-0 Córdoba
- 15.74 %
FC Barcelona 3-0 Córdoba
- 13.45 %
|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|
|Dec 6, 2013||F.C. Cartagena 1 - FC Barcelona 4||ESPC|
|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|
|13||José Pinto Colorado||Goalkeeper|
|12||Jonathan Dos Santos||Midfielder|
The Spain striker has seen his first team opportunities limited since recovering from a broken leg, resulting in rumours of his departure from Camp Nou. But he should be handed the chance to impress against Cordoba and he will want to grab it with both hands.
Few would tip Cordoba to upset the odds and defeat Barcelona on Thursday, but in the 24-year-old they do have a player capable of finding the back of the net. The striker has scored five goals in 12 starts this season and the Blaugrana defence will have to be wary of his threat.
The hosts have enjoyed a near-flawless season so far and that doesn't like like changing on Thursday night. With a 2-0 lead already in the bag, expect Barcelona to confirm their place in the quarter-finals with ease.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed