From 'El Niño' Torres to a complete Lionel Messi
Camp Nou: 21:00 CET
With the fall-out from Real Madrid's postponed game in Vigo still rumbling on and the weekend's events doing no harm for Abel Caballero's (Mayor of Vigo) ranking in local popularity polls, it's time to turn our focus back onto events on the pitch again with tonight's mouthwatering Copa del Rey second leg tie at Camp Nou. Barça secured a 1-2 win at the Calderón last week and certainly have the upper hand ahead of tonight's second leg though Atlético's dominance in the second half of the game will give their fans grounds for optimism.
Last week's game saw a poor first half performance from Atlético with Cholo Simeone's side showing a uncharacteristic vulnerability in the opening half. The second period was a different affair with the introduction of Fernando Torres posing problems for the Barça rear-guard as the side from the capital pulled one goal back to keep the tie alive. The key in the second period was a feeling of belief and enthusiasm. All down to Torres? Maybe...but the presence of the veteran striker had a visible contagious knock-on effect on the rest of his team-mates. Torres as a player has matured and is still more than capable of causing danger to defences throughout grounds in Spain.
Barça favourites for fourth consecutive final
The Camp Nou crowd will fear El Niño as the striker has already caused plenty of heartbreak in the past the Barcelona faithful, not just with his goals in the red and white Atlético shirt but also in his time at Chelsea. The Fuenelabrada born striker was on target for the Blues to knock the Catalan side out of the Champions League in 2012. Today he will lead the Atleti front-line with Griezmann, Carrasco and Gaitán with Atlético needing to score twice. Barça are without Neymar (suspension) but will start with Luis Suárez and Messi, with the Argentinean in superb form having evolved from a player with exquisite individual talent to a complete talentr who can read a game like no other. Barça start the game as clear favourites but no-one should rule out this unpredictable Atleti side.
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