September 18, 2019
Latest News

Barça chases 5th Copa in row, Valencia seeks to cap off century celebration

 Barcelona's forward Leo Messi reacts during the UEFA Champions League first leg semifinal match between FC Barcelona and Liverpool in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, May 1, 2019. EPA-EFE FILE/ Alberto Estevez

Barcelona's forward Leo Messi reacts during the UEFA Champions League first leg semifinal match between FC Barcelona and Liverpool in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, May 1, 2019. EPA-EFE FILE/ Alberto Estevez

Barcelona/Valencia May 24 (efe-epa).- Barcelona will fight for a record fifth Copa del Rey title in a row at the expense of Valencia, which, in turn, look to mark a centenary year in winning fashion by bagging its Copa trophy in over a decade.

At Seville’s Benito Villamarin stadium, Barcelona will be on the hunt of its ninth domestic double, while Valencia dreams of repeating its success in 2008, when it defeated Getafe at Madrid’s Vicente Calderon stadium.

Some of Barcelona's fans do not share the confidence shown by the club's officials and players, given the club's recent calamitous exit from the UEGA Champions League from an inform giant slayer. The Catalan club has already said that it has faith in coach Ernesto Valverde.

Valverde, who is also seeking out his second double, is hoping more than anyone else to hoist the title while putting on a performance similar to the one that enabled them to thrash Sevilla 5-0 a year ago in the cup final after being knocked out of the Champions League.

Arriving to the 2019 edition of the Spanish cup amid similar circumstances, then, Barcelona is also missing several key players, including Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele.

Valverde has several options in the midfield and in attack, Arthur Melo, Philippe Coutinho and Arturo Vidal.

The rest of the starting lineup seems to be sorted out as Dutch goalkeeper Jasper Cillesse is expected to be under the crossbar as he has been at the Copa del Rey, with Marc Andre Ter Stegen being left out of the squad due to injury.

In the defense line, Valverde is expected to count on Sergio Roberto or Nelson Semedo, Gerard Pique, Lenglet and Jordi Alba.

Ivan Rakitic and Sergio Buquets seem to have secured a place in the starting lineup for Saturday’s game.

Arthur Melo has seen his role decrease in the decisive matches of the season, as happened in both games against Liverpool in the Champions League.

Valverde, however, sent him onto the field in the final stretch of the second leg with the aim of controlling the midfield, something Barcelona failed to achieve.

Valencia, meanwhile, will play the final relieved, having secured a Champions League berth for the upcoming season on the final 2018/2019 La Liga matchday.

To that end, Valencia has had to come a long way, having gone into the winter break with 10-point disadvantage, which combined with its Europa League run and Copa del Rey came at a price of fatigue the team has been struggling with lately.

Beside fatigue and relief, Valencia faces the match with the hope it can put an end to a decade-long trophy drought.

Over 20,000 fans will head to Seville, mainly on train and buses, to support the team, while two huge screens are to be set up in Valencia so that other thousands of fans can watch the game together.

On the pitch, Valencia’s coach Marcelino García Toral can finally count on two of his key players; central defender Ezequiel Garay and midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia.

While Garay has said he is ready to play, Kondogbia acknowledged that after being sideline for a month with an injury he has yet to regain top form, which could make coach think twice before taking any risks.

Russia Denis Cheryshev will be on the sideline due to a knee injury he sustained a month ago while South Korea’s Kang In Lee will miss the game as he joined his U20 national team.

Toral is expected to play Gabriel Paulista, Jose Luis Gaya, Dani Parejo, Gonçalo Guedes and Rodrigo Moreno in the starting lineup as well as goalkeeper Jaume Domenech.

Throughout the season, the Spanish goalkeeper has been on the bench in La Liga, Champions League and Europa League, but he has started all the cup games.

Down the right side, it is not clear whether the coach will count on Cristiano Piccini or Daniel Wass as fullback and Carlos Soler or Francis Coquelin as winger.

Coquelin has regularly started against powerful teams in a bid to muscle up the midfield, but it would depend in this case on whether or not Kondogbia will start.

Possible lineups:

FC Barcelona: Cillessen; Sergi Roberto, Pique, Lenglet, Jordi Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Arturo Vidal; Malcom, Messi and Coutinho.

Valencia: Jaume Domenech; Piccini or Wass, Garay, Paulista, Gaya, Wass or Carlos Soler, Coquelin, Parejo, Guedes, Rodrigo and Gameiro.

Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco.

Venue: The Benito Villamarín stadium. EFE

News history
Marquez earns doubly valuable victory in San Marino

By Juan Antonio Llados

Spain claims gold at Basketball World Cup after thrashing Argentina

Beijing, Sep 15 (efe-epa).- Spain basketball men's national team won Sunday its second FIBA World Cup crown after overcoming Argentina 95-75 in the final...

Maradona makes stumbling debut as Gimnasia coach

Buenos Aires, Sep 14 (efe-epa).- Diego Maradona had a bitter first outing as the new coach for Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata, falling to Racing Club 2-1...

Marquez tops Quartararo in thrilling end to San Marino MotoGP

Misano Adriatico, Italy, Sep 15 (efe-epa).- Spaniard Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda RC 213 V) on Sunday prevailed over Frenchman Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha YZR M...

Bodybuilding gains ground in Gaza

Palestinian bodybuilders were competing in a fitness championship in Gaza City on Sunday. Over 70 gyms have been set up in Gaza in just over a decade as...

France grabs basketball World Cup bronze from Australia

Beijing, Sep 15 (efe-epa).- The national men's basketball team of France earned Sunday the bronze medal in the FIBA World Cup held in China at the expense...

Suzuki earns his maiden Moto3 victory at San Marino

Misano Adriatico, Italy, Sep 15 (efe-epa).- Japanese rider Tatsuki Suzuki (Honda) on Sunday earned his maiden victory at Misano's World Circuit Marco...

Real Sociedad downs Atletico 2-0 in new stadium, Barca routs Valencia 5-2

San Sebastian, Spain, Sep 14 (efe-epa).- The fiesta celebrating Real Sociedad's new stadium - formerly Anoeta, now Reale Arena - was complete as the home...

Man City stunned by Norwich, fall 5 points behind league-leading Liverpool

Norwich, England, Sep 14 (efe-epa).- Two-time defending champion Manchester City find themselves five points behind league-leading Liverpool after stumbling...

Close battle expected between surprise FIBA World Cup finalists

Beijing, Sep 14 (efe-epa).- Argentina and Spain will face off on Sunday at Beijing's Wukesong Sport Arena for the FIBA Basketball World Cup title, a clash...

Gimnasia y Esgrima ready for Maradona's much-anticipated debut

By Sebastian Meresman

Viñales snatches pole position from Espargaro for San Marino MotoGP

Misano Adriatico, Sep 14 (efe-epa).- Spanish rider Maverick Viñales of Yamaha snatched pole position from his compatriot Pol Espargaro of KTM ahead of the...

Benzema leads Madrid to 3-2 win over Levante

Madrid, Sep 14 (efe-epa).- Real Madrid on Saturday prevailed over Levante 3-2 and earned its first home-league win of the season on the strength of a brace...

Quartararo sets the pace in 3rd practice session ahead of San Marino MotoGP

Misano Adriatico, Italy, Sep 14 (efe-epa).- France's Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha YZR M 1) on Saturday topped his Spanish teammate Maverick Viñales in the third...

Australia seeks to bag historic bronze against powerful France

Beijing, Sep 14 (efe-epa).- The national men's basketball teams of Australia and France are set to put up a tenacious fight over the weekend as the two...

France out, Argentina to play Spain in Basketball World Cup final

Beijing, Sep 13 (efe-epa).- Argentina booked a place in the Basketball World Cup final in China on Friday after defeating France 80-66.

Inspired Areola hopes for a great season with Real Madrid

Madrid, Sep 13 (efe-epa).- France goalkeeper Alphonse Areola was thrilled during his presentation as a Real Madrid player on Friday for getting to wear the...

Soccer and language lessons help young refugees integrate in Belgium

By Laura Zornoza

Kobe Bryant: Days of US Dream Team are over

Beijing, Sep 13 (efe-epa).- Kobe Bryant said that the days of America's 1992 Barcelona Olympics "Dream Team" are over, at a Basketball World Cup press...

Spain reaches basketball world cup final after win over Australia

Beijing, Sep 13 (efe-epa).- Spain beat Australia and went through to the Basketball World Cup final in China after a double overtime Friday.

Mourinho: "Messi made me a better coach"

By Luis Villarejo

Zinedine Zidane says Eden Hazard is ready for Real Madrid debut

Madrid, Sep 13 (efe-epa).- Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane said Friday that Belgium forward Eden Hazard is prepared to debut with the Spanish club...

Alonso teams up with Coma in Lichtenburg 400

Madrid, Sep 13 (efe-epa).- Spanish two-time Formula 1 World Champion, Fernando Alonso, will pair up with five-time Dakar Rally winner in the motorbike...

Tokyo Olympics organizers test artificial snow machines to beat the heat

Tokyo, Sep 13 (efe-epa).- The organizing committee of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games used artificial snow machines on Friday to test their...

I agree Welcome to news4europe.eu. We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.