Think about for a moment -- just 270 minutes separate FC Barcelona and what could be their first trophy of the Luis Enrique era. After comfortably eliminating the reigning La Liga champions, Atletico Madrid in the quarter-finals, the Blaugrana are merely three matches away from lifting the Copa del Rey trophy -- the first of which will be contested tonight at the Camp Nou. The visitors? Villarreal CF, the very same Villarreal who pushed our side to the limit a week and a half ago in La Liga, twice taking the lead in Catalunya before ultimately succumbing to defeat.
It was a brave, confident performance from the plucky visitors, although in truth, Barcelona never truly seemed threatened or in any real danger of dropping points. Even when trailing, Barcelona's gameplan never faltered and their own confidence did not waver. They responded in style with a superb performance that simply oozed quality; yet be that as it may, there was room for improvement. Indeed, our recent wins over Atletico Madrid and just this past weekend against Athletic Bilbao have yielded better team performance. Would a repeat ensure a more comfortable victory this time round?
That's what Luis Enrique must be hoping for; he's named a strong squad -- Claudio Bravo is the only somewhat "surprise" omission, yet his exclusion is inconsequential anyway. Expect Barcelona to start a strong line-up and go for the jugular. Will they be successful? Predict the score of tonight's Copa del Rey semi-final first-leg clash between FC Barcelona and Villarreal CF by commenting with your prediction below. Best of luck!