June 19, 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
Messi hopes to end drought with Argentine national team at Copa America

By Sebastian Meresman

Brazilian players warn that Peru's Guerrero can be a scoring machine

Salvador, Brazil, Jun 19 (efe-epa).- Brazilian national soccer team players Marquinhos and Alisson praised Peruvian striker Paolo Guerrero on Wednesday,...

Luis Enrique steps down as Spain's national team coach, Moreno takes helm

Madrid, Jun 19 (efe-epa).- Luis Enrique has Wednesday left his position as coach of Spain's national soccer team and will be replaced by his assistant,...

Biggest Africa Cup of Nations: golden opportunity for Salah

Cairo, Jun 19 (efe-epa).- Egypt prepares to host the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, the biggest in history with the country being tipped to win the tournament.

High-scoring Uruguay takes on Japan in Copa America

By Fernando Gimeno

UEFA appeal committee upholds Neymar's 3-match ban

Madrid, Jun 19 (efe-epa).- UEFA's appeal committee Wednesday turned down an appeal filed by the Paris Saint Germain star Neymar against a three-match ban...

Real Madrid reinforces its defense with new signing Mendy

Madrid, Jun 19 (efe-epa).- Real Madrid reinforced its defensive lineup with the inclusion of France left-back Ferland Mendy who was presented to fans at the...

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady tops NFL earnings list as retirement looms

New York, USA, Jun 18 (efe-epa).- New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady may be nearing retirement, but he still earns more royalties than any other NFL...

Brazil's Marta sets WC scoring record, team moves on to WWC Round of 16

International Sports Desk, 18 Jun (efe-epa) - Marta became the top scorer in the history of FIFA World Cups – including the men's tournament – after scoring...

Geraint Thomas passes medical after crashing out of Tour de Suisse

Arlesheim, Switzerland, Jun 18 (efe-epa).- Last year's Tour de France winner, Geraint Thomas, was not seriously hurt Tuesday in the crash that forced him to...

Brazil's Dani Alves returns to the stadium where it all started

By Carlos Meneses Sanchez

Sharapova makes victorious return to competition in Mallorca

Mallorca, Spain, Jun 18 (efe-epa).- Maria Sharapova defeated Viktoria Kuzmovaof Slovakia on Tuesday in the 2019 Mallorca Open first round.

Garcia battles past Azarenka in Mallorca Open 1st round

Mallorca, Spain, Jun 18 (efe-epa).- Caroline Garcia rallied Tuesday from a set down to earn a hard-fought win over Victoria Azarenka in the Mallorca Open...

Colombia vs Qatar: clash between Portugal's Queiroz, Spain's Sanchez

Sao Paulo, Jun 18 (efe-epa).- Colombia and Qatar national teams are set to square off against each other with the aim of moving a step closer to qualifying...

Amputee victims in Gaza hit soccer pitch with local team The Crutches

A soccer team in the Gaza Strip known as The Crutches is providing a platform for amputee victims of the Israeli-Paletinian conflict to get out on the...

Argentina and Paraguay to square off in Copa America battle of the reeling

By Sebastian Meresman

Real Madrid unveils new forward Rodrygo: I hope to make Madrid fans happy

Madrid, Jun 18 (efe-epa).- Real Madrid unveiled the latest component of its new squad for the upcoming season, Brazilian forward Rodrygo, at its Santiago...

Former UEFA president Platini held over awarding 2022 FIFA World Cup to Qatar

Paris, Jun 18 (EFE).- Former UEFA president Michel Platini has been arrested on suspicion of corruption linked to a decision to award the 2022 World Cup to...

Chile starts title defense by trouncing Japan 4-0 in Copa America Group C

By Gerard Soler

2 people seriously injured during Raptors NBA championship celebration

Toronto, Canada, Jun 17 (efe-epa).- At least two people were seriously injured on Monday during the downtown Toronto celebration of the local Raptors' NBA...

Uruguay's Vecino undergoes medical tests, misses Copa America practice

Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Jun 17 (efe-epa).- The Uruguayan national soccer team, which made its Copa America debut over the weekend with a 4-0 blowout of...

Totti attacks Roma’s owners as he leaves his career club

Rome, Jun 17 (efe-epa).- Francesco Totti quit as director of Roma on Monday and held a press conference to criticize the Serie A club’s owners.

Copa America’s nearly empty stadiums

Porto Alegre (Brazil), Jun 17 (efe-epa).- If fans are the beating heart of soccer, the 2019 Copa America as a slow pulse as its stadium looked nearly empty...

Brazil seeks last-8 spot against a fearless Venezuela

Salvador, Brazil, Jun 17 (efe-epa).- Brazil’s national team will seek to secure a berth in the 2019 Copa America quarterfinals at the expense of Venezuela,...

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