Barcelona vs Athletico Madrid: Final Leg of Copa del Rey Semi FinalPublished February 7, 2017 by Sol FH
Barcelona are just 90 minutes away from making it back to the Copa del Rey Final and face Athletico at Camp Nou tonight at 20:00 GMT.
Barcelona are in good position to advance to the Copa del Rey Championship. The defending champions have won the competition a record 28 times and have put pressure on Athletico after beating them away 2-1. The winner of this semi final will be strong favorites to win the final with Alaves and Celta Vigo remaining in the tournament. Barcelona have been very strong lately and beat Bilbao over the weekend 3-0 at home, but tonight, Athletico will be throwing everything they have at the Blaugrana to make up the goal deficit and move on.
Barcelona will need to defend their title chance without key player Neymar. The Brazilian star received his third yellow card in the first leg at Vicente Calderon stadium giving him a 1-game suspension. Athletico will need to fill the hole left by Gabi, who is also banned from play. Barca manager Luis Enrique was cautious with his words but knows that his team has a grand advantage, "They need to win and score at least twice, so we may see an Atletico who take more risks. My players are experts in big games." Ever confident of his team, Enrique will be using an offensive roster to score early and take stress of his defense. Pique will be back on that strong defense after limping off the pitch against Bilbao.
The odds are stacked against Athletico to win at Camp Nou, as they haven't been able to do so in 11 years. The last time that they appeared in the final was back in 2012/13 where they were triumphant against Real Madrid at Bernabeu.
Copa del Rey Betting Markets
Barcelona are huge favorites to win tonight and bet365 Sports posts odds in their favor to the tune of 1.57 to 5.50 for Athletico. To qualify, those odds are even steeper with Athletico at 10.00 and Barca at 1.062. Obviously a win by two goals by the visitors will net huge profits for bettors, but don't expect that to happen. Barcelona to win 3-1 tonight.