The Copa Del Rey final pits Barcelona against Valencia, taking place at the Benito Villamarín Stadium on Saturday, kicking off at 9:00pm local time in Spain.

Barcelona are current holders, and are hoping for a record 5th consecutive title, a feat no team before them has done. Can Valencia stop them, and win their first Copa Del Rey since 2008?

Barcelona

Barcelona fans will feel like Déjà vu as May draws to a close, as they are hoping to replicate last year’s success with a domestic double, but also feel some pain having choked in the Champions League latter stages again. The league title was sewn up with a few games to go, which would excuse as to why Barcelona failed to beat both Eibar and Celta Vigo in two of their last three matches. Lionel Messi refuses to rest though, as he scored both of Barcelona’s goals in the 2-2 draw at Eibar this past weekend.

In the Copa Del Rey, Barcelona had to surpass Cultural Leonesa and Levante in the earlier rounds, by a 5-1 and 4-2 aggregate score respectively. In the quarter finals, Barcelona were drawn with Sevilla who they lost 2-0 to in the first leg, but performed one of the games of the season to turn the tie around as they won 6-1 at the Nou Camp. Barcelona then played arch rivals Real Madrid in the semi-finals, and after a 1-1 result at home, Barcelona then travelled to the Bernabeu and won 3-0 securing a place in the final.

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Valencia

Valencia suffered a similar fate in their long European run, as Barcelona did. Reached the semi-finals, but it was an English side that was too strong for them as they were knocked out to Arsenal. Valencia will be delighted with how they have turned their season around though, and were even able to achieve a Champions League spot by finishing 4th in the league. They had to win on the final day at Real Valladolid, and they did so comfortably, with a 2-0 score line.

Valencia knocked out Ebro in the first round with a 3-1 aggregate score line, which saw them draw against another 2nd tier team in Sporting Gijon. They lost to in the first leg, but managed to overturn the narrow defeat with a 3-0 win at home. In the quarter finals, they were facing against direct opponents in the league in Getafe, and narrowly went through 3-2 on aggregate. In the semi-finals, Valencia were up against Real Betis, and after a 2-2 draw away from home, they managed to win their fixture at home 1-0 to send them to the final – which will be at Real Betis’ ground.

Head to Head

This will be the sides third meeting this season, and in the two prior clashes, nothing has separated the two teams. A 1-1 draw at the Mestalla in October, was followed by a 2-2 draw at the Nou Camp in February. In recent seasons though, Barcelona have had the upper hand, winning five out of the last 10 meetings, with Valencia only winning one. In the Copa Del Rey, have been drawn together three times in this decade, in 2012, 2016 and 2018, with Barcelona progressing through the two-legged matches every time. In 2016, Gary Neville was in charge of Valencia, and they lost one leg 7-0 to Barcelona.

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Predictions and Betting Tips

Barcelona are firm favourites at 1/2 to win the domestic double, with Valencia priced at 9/2. For the game to be a draw, and therefore reach extra time, that is at 16/5. I expect Lionel Messi and co to create history, and win this trophy for the 31st time in their history, and a record 5th consecutive time, with a hard-fought 2-1 victory at 13/2.

Lionel Messi is at 8/11 to score at any time, but you can boost your odds by backing him to score a brace at 9/2, or first at 2/1. Valencia have been defensively solid for the majority of the season, so you can feel confident backing them to keep out Barcelona until half time at least, so a 0-0 half time score at 5/2 seems reasonable.

Finally, if you really earn the big bucks and are feeling lucky, then you can bet on Valencia to win the final after extra time, which is at 36/1.

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