FC Barcelona are ready for the first leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final against Valencia, and the current champions want to continue dominating the competition, achieving a fourth consecutive final. However, Los Che are a difficult rival and one of the few teams that have managed to take a point from Barça in the League.

The first leg will be played at the Camp Nou and this will force Barça players to try and keep a clean sheet. "It is essential in this first game to score and not to concede“, Ernesto Valverde stated at the pre-match press conference in which he also said that it will be "a very balanced, open, and beautiful match for the crowd, and it will be difficult for them and also for us.”

Difficult opponent

The Blaugrana coach was asked what new signing Philippe Coutinho’s ideal position was: ‘He’s a player that adapts well to many positions. He can play inside left, or right and is very versatile.’

On Valencia, he was clear that they will prove to be a difficult opponent: ‘It won’t be like the last time, a 7-0 is not normal for a first game. Valencia were in a delicate position then, but now they have a team that is good enough to win any match. They’re a rival with very fast strikers and wingers, and the distance between the lines are short. A classic 4-4-2 formation is simple and well-worked, and they are counter-attack specialists.’

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