Barcelona look for their first title against Sevilla in the final of the Copa del Rey
FC Barcelona players celebrate their qualification for the Copa del Rey final after their away victory over Valencia on February 8, 2018
The Barcelona is measured at Sevilla on Saturday (19h30 GMT) in the final of the Copa del Rey, looking for his first title of the season, while the Sevilla team wants a trophy that will secure a place in Europe next season.
“I expect a disputed final,” said Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde, after the 2-2 draw in Vigo against Celta on Tuesday.
Abandoned from the Champions League, but a firm league leader, just three points away from the title, Barcelona are looking for the Liga-Copa del Rey double.
After the disappointment in the ‘Champions’, Valverde wants to secure a first title on Saturday and did not hesitate to revolutionize his team on Tuesday against Celta, reserving figures like Andrés Iniesta, Sergio Busquets, Gerard Piqué, Luis Suarez or Leo Messi, who only played a few minutes of the match in Balaídos.
– Controversy –
“It’s an opportunity to win a title, to dispute it and the idea was to share efforts,” acknowledged Valverde, making it clear that he had his mind set on Saturday’s game at the Metropolitan Stadium in Madrid.
A party that has already been involved in the controversy over the political situation in Catalonia and the possibility that the anthem to Spanish will be repeated again.
On Wednesday, the Barça president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, did not hesitate to ask for a political solution for tensions in Catalonia and assured that the final can serve as a “speaker to defend what we believe in”.
Valiant cup and club champion who has won this trophy more times (29), Barça is looking to take this tournament for the fourth consecutive year, something that only Real Madrid (1905-1908) and Athletic Bilbao (1930-1933) have achieved. .
Valverde does not want to miss the title and will have his gala lineup with Luis Suarez and Leo Messi in the lead.
In the midfield, Andres Iniesta is emerging as the brain of the team in what could be his final final copera if his next departure to China is confirmed at the end of the season, accompanied by Rakitic, Sergio Busquets and Sergi Roberto.
– Passport to Europe –
In front will be a Sevilla, who got out of the Champions League for Bayern Munich, looking not only for his sixth cup title, but also the possibility of securing a place in the Europa League next season.
Seventh classified in League to three points of the Villarreal, that occupies the last European place, the Seville waits for a victory that assures him to continue in Europe.
A victory of the Barça would also allow the seventh classified one in the League to go to Europe, reason why the Seville would have to maintain that position.
Like Valverde, the Sevilla coach, Vincenzo Montella, went to the rotations on Tuesday in the league against Deportivo de la Coruña (0-0) thinking about the final copera, although he warned about the performance of his team.
“There is a title at stake, so the importance of the match is there, we have things to improve for him and we will work and prepare the game outside of Seville in the best possible way,” said the Italian coach of the Seville squad. , which has been concentrated in the Malaga city of Marbella.
Sevilla managed a 2-2 draw against Barcelona in their last league game, which gives the Sevilla fans courage to face this game.
“We already realized in the league game that we can fight and that we can do well against them,” said Mexican defender Miguel Layún.
However, Sevilla goes to this final without having been able to win a game in their last seven games between Liga and ‘Champions’.
Against the azulgrana, Montella will trust Éver Banega to lead the game Sevilla, while ahead the Frenchman Wissam Ben Yedder could have offensive responsibility.