Ernesto Valverde’s side have a good deal of work to do if they are to progress in the Copa del Rey
Barcelona will have to summon all their powers of recovery if they are to progress to the Copa del Rey semi-finals when they host Sevilla at Camp Nou on Wednesday.
Ernesto Valverde’s side trail 2-0 after the first leg in Andalucia but bounced back with a 2-0 victory over Girona at the weekend to maintain their position at the summit of La Liga.
Goals from Pablo Sarabia and Wissam Ben Yedder gave Sevilla a deserved victory a week ago and they continued that momentum into the weekend, when they thumped Levante 5-0 at home.
Another solid performance would be enough to send them a step closer to glory.
||Barcelona vs Sevilla
||Wednesday, January 30
||8:30pm GMT / 3:30pm ET
|Stream (US only)
||fubo TV (7-day free trial)
In the United States (US), the game can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial).
New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser.
|US TV channel
||fubo TV (7-day free trial)
In the United Kingdom (UK), the game will not be broadcast.
|UK TV channel
||Ter Stegen, Cillessen
||Semedo, Pique, Lenglet, Alba, Vermaelen, S. Roberto
||Rakitic, Busquets, Vidal, Boateng, Arthur, Alena
||Messi, Suarez, Coutinho, Malcom
Barcelona have brought out the big guns up front to salvage their Copa campaign, with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez both up front for the hosts.
Ousmane Dembele, Samuel Umtiti and Rafinha remain absentees however, with the latter likely out for the season.
Confirmed Barcelona starting XI: Cillessen; S. Roberto, Pique, Lenglet, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Arthur; Messi, L. Suarez, Coutinho
||Gomez, Kjaer, Wober, Carrico, Mercado, Escudero, Arana
||Amadou, Banega, Vidal, Navas, Sarabia, Vazquez, Mesa
||Promes, Ben Yedder, Andre Silva
The visitors are without Alex Vidal but have called Quincy Promes in to deputise in his place, while Sergi Gomez has also overcome a potential fitness issue to start.
Nolito and former Barcelona forward Munir El Haddadi are sidelined in attack, while midfielder Maxime Gonalons is a long-term problem in midfield.
Possible Sevilla starting XI: Soriano; S. Gomez, Kjaer, Carrico; Amadou, Mesa, Banega, Sarabia, Arana; Promes, Andre Silva.
Barcelona are favourites to win, with odds of 2/9 at bet365 . Sevilla are a 10/1 shot, while a draw is priced at 11/2.
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The time has come for Barcelona to awaken their full might for the Copa del Rey.
Facing a 2-0 first-leg deficit against Sevilla, Ernesto Valverde’s men are staring a quarter-final exit square in the face.
The coach, though, has decided that it is time to take action. In earlier rounds, he has been conservative with his squad selection, mindful of the experience of last year, when Barca attacked the competition with all of their gusto only to suffer in the Champions League at the hands of Roma.
Top of their priority list has been keeping their stars fresh for their assault on Europe, but equally they want success on all fronts.
“We are a team that, at certain times, always take a step forward and tomorrow it’s our turn,” Valverde said, sending out a warning to his opponents.
“We always want to win, and I know that every time we don’t, it’s a small step back; some think it’s disappointment and others view it as failure.
“If we advance or don’t go through, the only certain thing is that on Saturday the sun will be there and we will have another game.”
Sevilla, meanwhile, are chasing a sixth Copa del Rey title and a first since 2009-10, when they beat Barca on away goals en route to glory.
Although they command a two-goal lead ahead of this clash, they are wary of their opponents’ qualities.
“Ninety minutes at the Camp Nou can feel like a very long time, anything can happen,” Pablo Machin said.
“We’re going to fight, compete and try to follow the game-plan that we’ve created, that’s what we plan to do.
“We know that we’re facing a fantastic opponent, one who is searching for another magical comeback, but we’ll try to score, that will greatly increase our chances of progression.”
With a squad bruised and battered, this encounter will be anything but a formality.