Copa del Rey: Semi Final Preview5 min read
Theres’ no let-up in Spain where football is concerned. No sooner have the Copa del Rey quarterfinals been completed then the semi-finals are upon us.
Leganes v Sevilla
There weren’t too many experts predicting that Leganes would make this stage of the competition, particularly after losing 1-0 in the first leg of their quarterfinal against Real Madrid and with the second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu.
It does Asier Garitano’s side something of a disservice to suggest that the ‘cucumber growers’ are only in the semis because of Real’s poor form too. On the night, Leganes deserved to go through because they were simply better than their opponents in all aspects.
In Javier Eraso, Nabil El Zhar and Nordin Amrabat, they have a trio of quick, skilfull players that will cause any team problems, particularly in the wide areas.
Sevilla’s patched up back line where only Gabriel Mercado and Sergio Escudero are assured of starting, will certainly have their work cut out, however, goals win games and that’s where Leganes have struggled. Just 17 in the league this season is the third worst of all 20 teams.
If the Andalusians can survive an initial onslaught from the hosts, their attacking players can take the game away from Leganes before the second leg.
Once the likes of Ever Banega, Nolito and Jesus Navas are allowed to dictate the play, supplemented by a rejuvenated Steven N’Zonzi and a fit and firing Wissam Ben Yedder, it could become a long night for the team from south Madrid.
New coach Vincenzo Montella has all of Sevilla believing again, and getting the team to the final has become one of his priorities.
Bet Victor price this first leg as follows: Leganes at 19/10, Draw 11/5 and a Sevilla victory is at 29/20. In the three fixtures played by the sides to date, both teams have scored in each game. Bet Victor have odds of for that pattern to continue.
Barcelona v Valencia
Barcelona are looking for their fourth consecutive title in a competition they’ve dominated over the last decade. Their appearance is this season’s last four is the eighth time in a row that Blaugrana have achieved the feat.
Though they’ve passed every test set them this season – even the quarterfinal first-leg defeat to Espanyol was turned around – one of their toughest assignments await them; Valencia.
Marcelino’s side were well beaten by Real Madrid in probably what was their most disappointing result of the campaign.
However, their performance was acceptable for the most part. Los Che still did enough in that game to have pulled back a two-goal deficit, had lady luck been on their side. Two late goals from Marcelo and Kross were a little unfair.
Unfortunately for Marcelino, it looks like he will have to make do without their talisman, Goncalo Guedes, who was taken off at half-time against Los Blancos with what appeared to be a hamstring problem.
With their first-choice centre-back pairing recalled after suspension, Los Che should at least be better prepared for the all-out assault from Messrs. Suarez, Messi and Coutinho.
It’s worth noting too that Valencia travel to Atletico Madrid in La Liga between the two legs of this game, whilst Barca have another demanding Catalan derby at Espanyol.
The option to rotate is therefore in play for both sides, but to what extent will only be found out on Thursday evening.
Bet Victor price this one heavily in favour of Barcelona who are 1/4 for a home win. The draw is at 21/4 with Valencia at 9/1 for an away victory. Both teams to score is . Only twice in the last 10 meetings have one team failed to find the net.