Copa del Rey: Linares - FC Barcelona

31 Aug 2021
05.01.22 - 19:30 CET

Copa del Rey and the duel of the third league team Linares against the struggling Barcelona. I'm going for Barca to win and at least 2 goals in the match.

I'm kind of thinking that this is exactly the kind of match that could suit the youngsters in Barcelona. It is clear that Xavi will continue to miss a large number of players especially up front. When you simply current Barcelona are missing players like Depay, Ferran Torres, Fati, Braithwaite or Dembélé, it shows. Unfortunately, Xavi won't be able to use Luuk de Jong either, who got a red card last time in the Copa del Rey back in a Sevilla jersey against Barcelona. This somehow narrows down the list of Xavi's attackers and puts him in a difficult position. On the other hand, Jordi Alba, Dani Alves and Sergio Busquets should all be ready to play by now. I'm aware that they are primarily defensive players, but I still think Barca will simply work on Linares soil. Xavi is an icon, he's not going to let this go and most importantly, we need to remember that the Copa del Rey may be the only way Barca can win any trophies this year.

Linares haven't lost 8 games in a row and this streak includes a 2-1 win over Alavés in the last round of the cup, so the home team has already beaten one team from the top competition. On the other hand, we would be comparing the incomparable. Alavés is ripe for relegation from La Liga, while Barca is fifth despite various problems. It is truly amazing where a giant like Barcelona can fall. Linares will surely want to take advantage of the absences and vulnerability of the favourite and I wouldn't be surprised if they score goals too, that's why I'm opting for at least 2 goals in the game, because hand on heart, if Neto starts in goal for Barca and maybe Lenglet at stopper, that's no guarantee of certainty towards the back. Just a moment about the home team. It has already been mentioned that they play in the 3rd league and they are 14th out of 20 participants. And that's even though they're on a run of good results, so you can see for yourself. Today, Barcelona will play a team that not only plays in the 3rd league, but is also far from being one of the best teams there. This is where the difference should show. Spain in particular are specialists in surprises in the early stages of the cup, but Barcelona can't afford the luxury of letting anything slip in my opinion.

FC Barcelona to win and Over 1.5 Goals @ 1.64

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