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Valencia vs. Barcelona: 2018 Spanish Copa del Rey Leg 2 Live

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Valencia vs. Barcelona: 2018 Spanish Copa del Rey Leg 2 Live

Standartinė2018 Vas 07 10:44

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Barcelona will attempt to defend a precarious 1-0 lead wap sbobet when they travel to the Mestalla Stadium on Thursday to face Valencia in the second leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final. A patient display from the Blaugrana in the first leg eventually saw Luis Suarez's 67th-minute header separate the two sides, although Los Che will still hold hope of overturning the deficit. However, Marcelino Garcia Toral's side play host to the La Liga leaders during their worst patch of form this season, having suffered defeat in their last five outings—including the Copa quarter-final second-leg loss at Alaves, where they qualified on penalties after extra time.On the other hand, Ernesto Valverde's men are unbeaten in five as they look to defend their Copa crown, although the 1-1 derby draw at Espanyol wap sbobet on Sunday may have dented their confidence entering Thursday's showdown. Read on for a preview of the Copa del Rey semi-final, where either Barcelona or Valencia will book their place in this season's showpiece. wap sbobet


Preview

Despite Valencia's drop in form, it's worth mentioning their last three fixtures have come against some intimidating opposition—Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid. A 4-1 loss at home to Los Blancos preceded back-to-back 1-0 defeats at the Camp Nou and the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium, but ESPN FC's Dermot Corrigan empathised with Los Che's slump:

Coming back to the Mestalla trailing 1-0 is far from conclusive in terms of the aggregate scoreline, and former Valencia striker Adrian Ilie, who beat Barca en route to lifting the Copa del Rey in 1999, told the club's official website that feat can be replicated almost 20 years on:

"This team has the ability to beat FC Barcelona. There is a very good team there, a good coach and playing at Mestalla is very important. I know the Valencia fans very well and I am sure that they are going to cheer on the players from the first second of the game to help them reach the final."

Valencia almost had to wait until the half-time whistle in the opening leg before having their first shot at goal, and Yahoo's Andrew Gaffney highlighted the impact injuries and other absences have had on their squad:

Speaking of absences, it seems little coincidence Barca's 1-1 draw at Espanyol on Sunday fell on the same day Valverde opted to rest Lionel Messi, presumably with the Copa semi-final second leg in the back of his mind.

The Camp Nou boss said that decision was fuelled purely by a desire to hand his dynamo a much-needed rest during such a busy portion of the calendar, via Goal:

The Argentinian's presence doesn't guarantee success, though, evidenced by the fact he started in the first leg and still struggled to unlock Valencia's back line for the large majority of the clash. His influence is mighty, though, as WhoScored.com illustrated with his goal contribution this season:


With such a narrow scoreline separating the two teams, Valencia are by no means under pressure to fire out of the blocks and chase the result from the beginning, particularly with a home crowd that's sure to provide some backbone.

Marcelino's ranks have the capacity to challenge giants, having also clinched results against Barca, Real and Atletico earlier this term, although a grand opportunity for silverware rests on them going one better and beating the Blaugrana this time around.

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