Barcelona vs. Valencia, Saturday 25th May, 20:00
It’s a mere formality these days that Barcelona will make it to the Copa del Rey final with this their sixth consecutive appearance and their ninth in the last 11 years.
Success would make it five titles in a row, but they come up against a Valencia side more than capable of holding heir own and buoyed by finishing fourth in La Liga and qualifying for Champions League football.
Whereas the four most recent losing finalists – Sevilla (twice), Alaves and Bilbao – all have dire records against Barca, Los Che have held them twice this season and they’ll be encouraged by the champions mounting injury list.
Lionel Messi could be Barca’s only reliable match-winner on Saturday as Luis Suarez is definitely out, while Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele remain major doubts.
However, while the little magician is on the pitch, Valencia must be wary. He has 17 goals in his last 15 appearances and his brace against Eibar last weekend saved the Catalan’s blushes as the Basque club had the better of the chances in a 2-2 draw.
Los Che certainly have the tools to cause Barca problems and they’ve found the back of the net in 19 of their last 22 matches in all tournaments. However, they’re just W1-D6-L7 against the ‘Big Three’ in Spain across all competitions under Marcelino.
Five of those stalemates were score draws, and we think this could follow suit, especially as Cope del Rey finals tend to be high-scoring affairs. Indeed, 14 of the last 20 have had at least three strikes, including six of the recent eight involving Barca, while 12 saw both teams score.
*all odds are subject to change