FC Barcelona are hoping to book their place in the semi finals of the Copa del Rey tomorrow when they host Levante UD at the Camp Nou in the second-leg of their quarter-finals clash with Joaquin Caparros' side. After a comfortable 4-1 win in the first-leg at the Ciutat de Valencia, the Blaugrana only need to show up to seal their place in the final four, but will be looking to build momentum after a difficult week.
A win tomorrow would be their third in the space of seven days; that's a huge morale booster for a club that has seen unexpected change at the boardroom level. And it's not just the results that are encouraging; Barça have been playing some of their best football of the season in recent matches. If they keep it up, who knows what we could still achieve this season.
After missing the weekend's win over Malaga CF through injury Alex Song, Martin Montoya, Carles Puyol and Andres Iniesta all return to Gerardo Martino's squad. However, Xavi, Dani Alves, Sergio Busquets and Jean-Marie Dongou all drop out for various reasons. Also missing out is Isaac Cuenca, who is the only outfield player in the first team squad yet to make an appearance this season.
As this is the Copa del Rey, expect Martino to make a host of changes to his line-up. Jose Manuel Pinto will start in goal, Martin Montoya and Adriano Correct will deputise at full back while Puyol and Marc Bartra should start in the heart of defense
Alex Song will fill in at pivote while Sergi Roberto will also get the nod; perhaps with Andres Iniesta in support. In contrast, expect little change in attack. Lionel Messi will probably start even if he shouldn't, and at least one of Alexis Sanchez and Pedro will join him in attack. That is unless Martino decides to start Ibrahim Afellay after just three minutes of game time I'm twelve months.
After a month and a half on the sidelines with an injury sustained against Elche, Levante hope to welcome back Baba Diawara from injury to tomorrow. The Senagalese forward has three goals to his name this season and will surely be hoping to announce his return in style tomorrow.
Levante UD 1-4 FC Barcelona -- 21st January 2014 -- Copa del Rey
Cristian Tello's hat-trick stole the headlines and secured the win for the visiting Blaugrana.
Barcelona (4-3-3): Pinto; Montoya, Puyol, Bartra, Adriano; Song, Roberto, Iniesta; Pedro, Messi, Tello
Levante (4-2-3-1): Jimenez; Nagore, Navarro, El Adoua, Juanfran; Camarasa, Pallardo; Xumetra, Ivanschitz, El Zhar; Non
Barça will win again, I'm going for a comfortable 3-0