Barcelona will hope to cruise to the Copa Del Rey quarter finals as they host Relegation threatened Primera Liga side Elche in the first leg of the round of 16 fixture. The runners-up of last season wouldn’t fancy any mistake at this level of the knockout competition.
Preview Barcelona vs. Elche Copa del Rey Match 8-1-2015 Tonight
Luis Enrique has endured several criticisms over his decisions in his side’s last league game against Real Sociedad which was a very disappointing affair for the Catalans. It is no doubt that he is expected to steer Barca to the quarter finals of the oldest competition in Spain.
Luis Enrique is likely to play some gambles in the starting line-up considering the fact that Barcelona have a big league game three days later at home against Atletico Madrid. Luis Enrique won’t like to fatigue his key players before the high intensity Liga clash but considering the defensive vulnerabilities of Barca and the reliability of the team on Messi (which was evident in their last league game) he would definitely not underestimate Elche.
Luis Enrique will have to gain the lost trust of the Barca fans and he knows that winning both the home games in a row will be much of a help.
These two sides met in August this season in the Liga game at the Camp Nou and the duo of Messi and Munir El Haddadi was enough to demolish the side 3-0. Considering the fixture congestion which Blaugranes are facing Munir is likely to make it in the starting eleven again this time.
Elche on the other hand has drawn its last game 2-2 against Villareal in the La Liga. After going two goals down early into the first half they equalized within twenty minutes and went into the half time break level on scores. Courtesy of these comeback goals goes to the impressive Jonathas and Victor Rodriguez Romero.
This Elche duo can prove a big threat if Enrique is planning to score some early goals in order to settle the tie and then perform an early substitution of Messi and Neymar. The strikers have shown clinical finishing and can surely cause a late upset. Elche are a side that defend well too when necessary. And considering the clumsiness that Barcelona have in the final third without key players, the Copa Del Rey fixture at home can prove costly if Barcelona end up conceding away goals early into the game.
MATCH DATE: 8th January, 2015
VENUE: Camp Nou, Barcelona
PROBABLE LINE-UPS for Barcelona vs. Elche Tonight 8-1-2015:
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Montoya; Bartra; Mathieu; Adriano; Rafinha; Xavi; Samper; Munir; Messi; Adama
Elche: Suarez; Roco; Lomban; Cisma; Mosquera; Pasalic; Rodrigues; Fajr; Rodriguez; Jonathas
REFEREE: David Fernandes Borbalan
Prediction Barcelona vs. Elche 8-1-2015 Copa del Rey
Barcelona 2 : Elche 0