El Madrigal, Villarreal
Wednesday, March 4; 2o:00 Hrs CET
After a 3-1 victory at Camp Nou, FC Barcelona already have a foot in the finals of Copa Del Rey. But Marcelinoa s Villarreal are looking in great touch at the moment and Luis Enriquea s men mustna t take this game lightly.
Villarreal suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of FC Barcelona in a first leg at Camp Nou. Now, the task ahead of Yellow Submarine is monumental as the Catalans are in great form, while the recent record of FC Barcelona at El Madrigal is also very impressive.
FC Barcelona, on the other hand, have a relatively easy task as they have secured a comfortable victory over Villarreal at Camp Nou. But the atmosphere at El Madridgal is always electric and the Catalans must aproach with utmost respect for the Yellow Submarine as Marcelinoa s players have proved it on more than one occasion this season that they have a character to beat the giant team like Blaugrana.
Team News and Tactics
Villarreal players would take some heart from their hard fought draw against Real Madrid at Santiago Bernabeu this weekend. Marcelino rested some of his key players for this game but still, Villarreal players showed a great character to earn a draw against in form Real Madrid in their own backyard.
However, the task ahead of Villarreal tonight is not easy at all. FC Barcelona have just secured two highly impressive victories against Man City and Granada and going into this game, Luis Enriquea s men would be full of confidence.
Marcelinoa s players have made a brilliant display of attractive yet productive football throughout this season. Their defence, led by Musacchio is one of the strongest in La Liga while their attack, comprising of Trigueros, Uche and Vietto, has also looked very dangerous throughout this season.
Villarreal manager Marcelino has asked his players to aproach this game against C Barcelona with confidence and enjoy their football against the best side in the world.
“We can create problems for them and I hope our play, luck and skill allows us to reach the final,” Marcelino said. “But we will be up against one of the best teams in the world.
“However, every game is different and we are playing at home. We’ll need to defend well and attack well, but these players deserve it. Ia m proud of them and wea ll give our all. Then wea ll see if the ball wants to go in.”
Going into this game, Villarreal have no new injuries worries to contend with, Antonio Rukavina (hamstring), Bruno (broken leg) and Bojan Jokic (knee) all remain long-term casualties.
Predicted Line-Up (4-3-3):Sergio Asenjo; Mario Gaspar, Musacchio, Jaume Costa, Victor Ruiz; Bruno, Dos Santos, Moi Gomez; Trigueros, Uche, Vietto
Luis Enriquea s FC Barcelona are clear favorites to progress to the finals of Copa Del Rey as they have a comfortable 3-1 lead over Villarreal. Goals from Leo Messi, Andres Iniesta and Gerard Pique gave FC Barcelona a 3-1 first-leg victory at Camp Nou on February 11.
FC Barcelona is currently the only a Big Threea team of Spain who is still there in Copa del Rey and looking at their current form, the Blaugrana fans are hoping for a treble from their favorite team this year. Another factor going into the favour of FC Barcelona is their recent record against Villarreal at El Madrigal.
The Blaugrana have won its last five games at El Madridgal against Villarreal and are unbeaten in last seven. Going into this fixture, the form of FC Barcelona is also very good. The Catalans have secured two consecutive wins in tricky away games against Man City and Granada but Villarreal is an in form side and they have to aproach this game with caution.
Midfielder Sergio Busquets has also asked his team mates to not to underestimate the strength of Villarreal and not to take anything granted.
a We start off with a slight advantage and we are just a step away from the final, but it will be difficult. Villarreal will have to change their way of playing,a said Busquets.
a Villarreal have a big squad with lots of young players. They all deserve respect, from number 1 to number 25.a
Meanwhile, barring Thomas Vermaelen, FC Barcelona coach Luis Enrique has no big injury worries to cope with. But considering the first leg advantage, Luis Enrique might decide to give chance to the fringe players like Sergi Roberto, Rafa Alcantara and Pedro Rodriguez tonight.
Predicted Line-Up(4-3-3):Ter Stegen; Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Iniesta; Suarez, Messi, Neymar
Player To Watch Out For
Leo Messi always enjoys playing against Villarreal. Messi missed a simple penalty against Man City last week and he would be eager to do the amends against high flying Villarreal tonight.
Villarreal 1-1 FC Barcelona
The squad of FC Barcelona looks much stronger on paper than Villarreal but the Yellow Submarine are playing arguably the most attractive football in Europe at the moment and expect them to cause all sort of troubles to the in form Blaugrana tonight. However, the Barca are obviously the clear favorites to reach the finals of Copa Del Rey at the expense of Villarreal.