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Next match: Spanish Cup: Valencia,away

Barça will face Valencia in semi finals of Spanish Cup on Thursday.It will be a tough challenge considering 1-1 draw from Nou Camp and absence of few players,but they are still confident,especially Samuel Eto’o after celebrating his 100th league game with 72nd goal against Almeria (only Mariano Martín, with 90 goals and Ladislao Kubala, with 84, have scored more goals than him in 100 league games).

Ronaldinho has been left out of the 16-man squad for tomorrow despite declaring a willingness to play whether he was 100% fit or not. Ronaldinho was criticized in the press this week when doctors claimed he was not injured after he dropped out of a training session claiming he felt a slight pain.Yaya Toure, however, has been included for the game despite his back problems. He should be applauded for his commitment to the team.
As well as Toure, Barça also have Zambrotta back after suspension which should mean Puyol moves back to central defence at the expense of Thuram. Sylvinho may get a chance after Abidal was blamed for both Almeria’s goals, and Toure will probably play in place of Edmilson. Thierry Henry, who has performed well in the cup, may get a chance to return in attack. Messi, Deco, Giovani, Marquez and Jorquera are all still out injured while Oleguer has been left out after taking a knock on the same finger that has kept him out for the last month.Ezquerro is fit again but has not been included for technical reasons.

This match is extremely important as it could end up being the turning point of the season. After last year’s debacle against Getafe in the cup it would be great to be in another final. Barça need to win or gain a high scoring draw as away goals count after 90 minutes. Scoring twice will almost certainly be the key to getting through. In December Barça won 0-3 in Mestalla, but I imagine things will be a bit tougher tomorrow evening.

Barça’s sixteen: Valdés, Pinto, Zambrotta, Puyol, Thuram, Milito, Abidal, Sylvinho, Edmilson, Toure, Xavi, Iniesta, Gudjohnsen, Bojan, Eto’o, Henry.

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