FC Barcelona have the second leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final against Valencia on Thursday in Mestalla (9.30pm CET). The blaugranes have the advantage after their 1-0 win in the first leg at Camp Nou last week.

However, according to coach Ernesto Valverde his team cannot afford to be complacent. “Taking into account the offensive potential that Valencia have and playing in Mestalla, I have the feeling that to get through we will have to score,” said the Barça boss.

The man knowns as ‘Txingurri’ added: “The fact that it is a semi-final means there will be motivation from the start.”

“Each team will be loyal to their style and they are a team who are difficult to break down and quick on the counterattack.”

Barça opponents will be boosted by the return from injury of one of their star players, Gonzalo Guedes. “He is a player to be aware of and he is having a great season. He can cause a lot of problems down the left and we will have to be careful,” warned Valverde.

The boss went on to point out that the competition has been demanding with none of the four quarter-finalists (Leganés and Sevilla are in the other semi) having been able to record a win in the league at the weekend. Asked about the fitness of Gerard Piqué, Valverde said: “We will see him in training on Wednesday and then we will see if he can play or not.” 

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