Barcelona v Valencia 20:00 Wed
Following a tight encounter at the Estadio Mestalla last week, Valencia will hold nothing back when they travel to the Camp Nou on Wednesday with hopes of gaining a place in the 2011-12 Copa del Rey final as Bet365 make the Catalan giants odds on to once again progress to the final of a major competition.
The encounter sees two of the Primera Division’s top three pitted against one another in what promises to be a spicy affair after the first leg finished 1-1.
Los Che have come through fixtures against Levante and Sevilla on their route to the semi finals and while Osasuna may not have posed much of a challenge on Barcelona’s path, the quarter-final tie against Real Madrid certainly was a greater obstacle.
Statistics are mixed concerning this match as although Valencia proceeded the last time these two sides met in the Copa del Rey, they have failed to win at the Camp Nou since October 2003.
The one previous time mentioned came in 2008 and is the only other occasion when Barcelona and Valencia have met in the tournament, with Valencia going through thanks to a second-leg win at the Estadio Mestalla.
It doesn’t help that Unai Emery’s side have to score against Barća either as the current La Liga title holders have the tightest home defence in the Spanish top flight, conceding an average of 0.67 goals per game.
Valencia are no slouches when it comes to offence and will feel confident in their attacking prowess that boasts considerable figure Roberto Soldado, who has notched up 20 goals in all competitions this season.
Tactics will be key in this fixture with both clubs focused on achieving their league targets just as much as they would like to win a domestic tournament.
As a result, team selection may be affected heading into a match which will undoubtedly produce the favourite to win the tournament given that the other semi final is between Athletic Bilbao and third tier Mirandés.