Copa del Rey: Barcelona v Valencia – Benito Villamarín at 21:00 GMT+1 live at Elven Sports
Barcelona are looking to secure a second consecutive domestic double on Saturday evening when they take on Valencia in the final of the Copa del Rey at the Estadio Benito Villamarin in Seville.
The Catalans conquered La Liga by 11 points in 2018/19 with Ernesto Valverde’s charges now suffering only four league defeats since he arrived at the club last season. The Blaugrana have dominated Spanish football under the ex-Athletic boss, although their Champions League failures continue to attract criticism.
At the beginning of this season, Lionel Messi spoke glowingly about the club’s dreams of realising European ambitions and so the dreadful defeat against Liverpool earlier this month has left many scares on the first-team squad. Nothing less than a victory over Valencia will soothe such wounds this weekend.
Valencia in fine form
Valencia head coach Marcelinho was almost out of a job at the turn of the year. At the halfway point of the La Liga campaign, Los Che had already exited the Champions League and tabled just four league triumphs from their opening 18 outings. Sitting in mid-table, Valencia were 10 points adrift of the top four.
Arguably more alarming for Valencia supporters, Los Che were only four points above the relegation zone. But Marcelinho’s men found their form and embarked on an excellent final-third. Saturday night’s underdogs reached the Europa League semi-finals and returned W11-D5-L3 in La Liga.
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Valencia’s upturn allowed the side to haul back Seville and Getafe in the race for Champions League qualification, clinching and confirming their place in Europe’s premier club competition with a 2-0 triumph at Valladolid last weekend. It was Los Che’s third successive win at least than two goals as they arrive in fine fettle.
The betting angle
Barcelona are firm and fair favourites. The Catalan club rarely fail to turn up for a cup final, although the Blaugrana are suffering from a few potential injury problems this weekend. Luis Suarez is a confirmed absentee and will probably be joined on the sidelines by Ousmane Dembele. Meanwhile, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Nelson Semedo, Philippe Coutinho and Arthur are all rated doubtful.
Messi is fit and raring to go, but without a collection of his leading star peers, Barcelona might not be the thrilling force they can be at their best. And that means supporting Valencia with a +1.25 start on the Asian Handicap appeals at 1.74 quotes.
Los Che have only lost three domestic games by more than a one-goal margin in 2018/19 and it’s easy to overlook the fact that Marcelinho’s men also held Barcelona to home and away draws in the La Liga campaign.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Valencia +1.25 at 1.740
Preview by: @MarkOHaire.
Barcelona looks to add the Cup to their La Liga title, can we expect Lionel Messi leading the way to complete domestic double? Make use of Eastbridge’s Copa del Rey: Barcelona v Valencia Preview and betting insights with VOdds or through Eastbridge’s Skype betting at custserve01.