Kev's chasing a third winner in a row, and he reckons Valencia won't be steamrollered by Barcelona tonight.
"Valencia haven't lost an away game by more than one goal this term, and they held Barcelona to a draw at the Mestalla earlier this season."
Barcelona v Valencia
Thursday February 01, 20:30
Monaco's cup runneth over last night, and so did ours. Monaco's 2-0 win over Montpellier took them into the final of the Coupe de la Ligue, and gave us our second winner of the week.
We'll stay with cup semi-finals, and take in the first leg of Barcelona's clash with Valencia in the Copa del Rey. All-conquering Barca are expected to sweep aside the Andalusians comfortably, but I'm not so sure.
Only yet another piece of Lionel Messi magic - a stunning free-kick - saw the Catalan giants edge out Alaves 2-1 at Camp Nou at the weekend. Although they have been almost flawless on home soil this term, there are reasons to think that although Valencia may well lose, they can keep the tie competitive ahead of the second leg.
Los Che have lost their last three competitive games, although one of those defeats did end with Valencia beating Alaves in a penalty shoot-out to reach this stage of the Copa del Rey. Before you run for the hills screaming, bear in mind the following.
Wily coach Marcelino has transformed the club's fortunes this term, and they are third in the La Liga standings, ahead of Real Madrid. Valencia held Barca to a 1-1 draw earlier this term at the Mestalla, and they have only lost two of the clubs' last five meetings. Also, Marcelino's men haven't lost a single away game by more than one goal this season.
I'm not necessarily suggesting Barca will suffer an upset, but if they are below their best tonight, Valencia have the quality in the team and in the dugout to take advantage.
Points Staked: 16
Points Returned: 17.03
P/L: +1.03 points
Back Valencia +2.0 & +2.5 on the Asian Handicap at [1.9]