We're heading to Spain for some Copa del Rey action, and even though Lionel Messi can't help Barcelona's cause, Kev thinks they'll still cruise through against Cornella.
"Barcelona's form has really picked up recently, and with Real Madrid and Atletico already out, Ronald Koeman will surely take this game seriously."
Barca to end the dream in Catalan clash
Cornella v Barcelona
Thursday 21 January, 20:00
Live on Premier Sports 2
Lens did their bit for us in Ligue 1 last night, but Marseille let us down with a truly awful performance in a 1-0 defeat, nixing our BTTS bet. L'OM managed just one shot on target, so there wasn't much to get excited about.
We head to Spain now, and the decision to switch to one-legged ties in the Copa del Rey is creating some great headlines. Both Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid have tumbled out against third-tier opposition, and it's Atletico's conquerors Cornella that we are focusing on here, as they prepare to face mighty Barcelona. This is surely the biggest game in Cornella's 70-year history.
What's even more remarkable about Cornella's 1-0 win over an Atletico side that included Saul and Joao Felix is that it's not even in keeping with their general form. They have drawn both league games 2-2 since that giant-killing, and they've only collected 13 points from 11 games in their regional Segunda B division. Their goalscoring hero from the last round, Adrian Jimenez, will miss this game with a serious knee injury.
Barcelona have lurched from crisis to crisis this season, and they lost the Spanish Super Cup final to Athletic Club. Lionel Messi picked up his first ever red card for Barca in that match, and is unavailable here. However, Ronald Koeman's side has found a bit of form of late, winning six of the last eight in La Liga including difficult away wins against Athletic Club and Granada.
Koeman will shuffle his pack, but we could still see starts for Miralem Pjanic in midfield and Antoine Griezmann in attack. Barca will have been sharpened up by Real Madrid's exit last night, and I expect a comfortable victory for the visitors.
You can back Barcelona -1.5 on the Asian Handicap at 1.84/5, and I think that's a sensible play.
Points Staked: 10
Points Returned: 3.78
P/L: -6.22 points