Copa del Rey Semi-Final preview: Almeria – Barça

Barça go into tomorrow night’s Copa del Rey semi-final second leg against Almeria with a seemingly insurmountable 5-0 lead from the first game last week at Camp Nou. However, there is no sign of complacency from Pep Guardiola who has named the entire first team squad for the trip to Andalucia including the injured Puyol, Jeffren and Iniesta. In the quarter-final against Betis we also defended a five-goal advantage but Guardiola fielded a team which included Piqué, Xavi and Messi and with no B-team youngsters despite the handsome advantage. Tomorrow we will probably see something similar with a lot of the “second string” first team players such as Milito, Bojan, Keita, Afellay in the starting XI but with the injuries to Puyol and Iniesta we can expect to see Piqué and Xavi start again. Messi could start on the bench this time if Pep can contain him but if he does we’ll probably see Pedro or Villa come in to form a striking trio with Bojan and Afellay. With only 17 first team players fit Nolito and Thiago have been added to the squad for the game though one of these two will probably be the one left out when the final 18 are announced for the game.

There’s not a lot more to say about Almeria. We’ve already beaten them 0-8 and 5-0 so far this season and they are probably sick of the sight of us. However, strange things happen in cup football and Betis certainly made us sit up and take notice in the quarter-final second leg with two goals in the first few minutes. It would be nice if Almeria could make a game of it like Betis did but there can be few who can seriously give them any chance at all of going through. Let’s just hope nobody gets injured, Puyol and Iniesta should both be back very soon, but with the Arsenal game just two weeks away we don’t want to be losing anybody now.

Barça’s 19-man squad: Pinto, Valdés, Alves, Adriano, Piqué, Milito, Abidal, Maxwell, Sergio Busquets, Mascherano, Xavi, Keita, Thiago, Pedro, Afellay, Bojan, Messi, Villa, Nolito.

Possible starting XI: Pinto; Adriano, Piqué, Milito, Maxwell; Xavi, Mascherano, Keita; Pedro, Bojan, Afellay.

My prediction: Almeria 1 Barça 2

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6 Responses to Copa del Rey Semi-Final preview: Almeria – Barça

  1. Caleb says:

    Good stuff, Nic. I like that the site has more pictures now. Looks good 😀

  2. Noureddine says:

    Great post pal as usual. I think this game gonna be no Betis game as we’ll be aware of the challenge, and it’d almost impossible for Almeria to catch us off gard, though I really wanna see Messi Xavi and Iniesta get some rest as they will need it next Saturday against the second hand Madrid visitors. I say 2-0 Barça “of course”

  3. barcacentralroger says:

    Almeria have Espanyol on the weekend – I think they’d be wise to focus on that game, however I think we’ll dip also before we begin building up to the Arsenal game, starting with Athletico this weekend. Noureddine, I’ll go with you and a 2-0 result.

  4. bc9jaCulé says:

    I’d really like to see a lineup like this;

    Pinto

    Adriano-Abidal-Milito-Maxwell

    Masch-Thiago-Keita

    Afellay-Bojan-Nolito

    Fret not culés! Even our reserve team are capable of givin’ Almeria a decent episode of thrashin’. Albeit, I’d like to see either Messi or Pedro get some minutes too in the second half.

    My Prediction:
    Almeria 1 — 3 Barça.

    Força Barça!!!

  5. Mike M says:

    Site looks great,

    glad to see that all your good work didn’t come to an end, Thanks Nic

    Should come through this game safely, without much problems.

  6. Jfan101 says:

    Im looking forward to watching our two most recent signings today. Affeley seems to be lokking sharp and could use the minutes to get more comfortable w/ the team and Macherano had a great game in the first league and should be rewarded with a starting spot today.

    I also thought i would share what ososuna striker said the other day about Ronaldo: Walter Pandiani said: “What Cristiano should do is learn from Lionel Messi, and leave out this cocky attitude. – Walter Pandiani.

    Good luck Sevilla…..

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