Published: Thu, February 07, 2019
Sports | By Phillip Butler

Livescore: Latest Copa del Rey result for Barcelona vs Real Madrid

Livescore: Latest Copa del Rey result for Barcelona vs Real Madrid

And they will be celebrating it in style on Wednesday night against Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey.

There are also selection issues at Madrid, with Solari likely to include either Gareth Bale or Vinicius Junior in his attack alongside Karim Benzema and Lucas Vazquez. "Whether he plays or not, it's not going to influence how we prepare for the game".

Messi picked up an unspecified injury in his right leg during Saturday's 2-2 draw with Valencia in the Spanish league.

Messi has been in typically imperious form this season, netting almost 30 goals in all competitions but Valverde says that Barcelona have enough firepower in their arsenal to overcome Real Madrid even if their captain isn't on the field.

Barcelona's preparation for the Copa del Rey semi-final opener have been marred by a mini injury crisis which has seen Ousmane Dembele, Jasper Cillessen, Samuel Umtiti and Rafinha all ruled out. "If it was the last match tomorrow, than it would be different".

But the way Barca play allows them to save energy more than other clubs as they have great ball possession and force their opponents to run a lot. The French striker has 18 goals, six more than he had in all of last season.

Valverde can only name 18 players in his final match day squad, though, so one player will have to miss out.

Interestingly, the 42-year-old claimed his job at the White House within 24 hours after Julen Lopetegui's side was humbled 5-1 by the Catalans.

"I don't think it (Messi playing or not) changes which team will be considered the favorite", he said.

Few would say that Madrid would be just a few points behind Barcelona at La Liga and on Copa del Rey semi-final a few months ago, but Santiago Solari's team have recovered well. "Isco? For the sake of Real Madrid I would speak with the president of Real Madrid [Florentino Pérez]".

Like this: