Copa Preview: Valencia-Barcelona, Wednesday 3pm ET, GolTV
You may know them as the perennial third-place team, a team of despicable bat-men, or perhaps they’re your “second” team in Spain. Perhaps they’re even you’re first team in Spain and you’re slumming it at BFB with your second team (or maybe you come here simply to read the outrageously well-written articles by graceful, erudite Adonises and Athenas). Whatever your affiliation with los che, it’s probably sufficient to say that you’re not going to underestimate them. They are, after all, the perennial third-place team and used to be big on the European stage. They’re still capable.
Yet it’s the Copa del Rey. It’s the thing Sergio Ramos couldn’t even care enough about to not smash under a bus. Sure, it’s the semifinals and we all love hardware. The Triplete was all the more magnificent because it wasn’t a Doblete. And yet. It’s the type of preview that makes me want to curl up in a ball and not write for a couple of days.
The cavalry rapidly arrived in the form of my friend CJ, instant messaging me:
Me: Thank you. Now, write my Valencia preview. I’ve already started it for you.
CJ: Just make it a Hleb is gone party post.
Me: HLEB IS GONE!?!?
CJ: He is! Officially!
Me: OH PEACH SCHNAPPS
CJ: And [Jonathan dos Santos] got promoted.
From there it sort of devolved into a bunch of blathering about Guardiola being wonderful in press conferences (actual quote from CJ : “kfhsdjkgykfhgjkdfhgjkldf”) and me trying to get work done and somehow not go dancing through the cubicle maze. Cuenca also renewed and was promoted (and now wears number 23 and signed through June 30, 2015), so it’s going to be fun to talk about how big our squad is once everyone has recovered. For now, it’s 18 to the copero front lines.
Valencia smacked the molasses out of Levante in the quarters (4-1 and 0-3), but succumbed to Racing Santander 2-2 in the league this past weekend, ensuring their bad run of form in that competition reached 4 matches. They haven’t won since beating Malaga 2-0 at the Mestalla to end 2011. They’ve drawn against Villarreal, Osasuna, and Racing and even lost to Real Sociedad. Yet they’re still in 3rd. We can beat them, but we won’t.
Official Prediction: 2-2. Newspapers scream about crisis and we all have aneurysms.
Oh, did I mention that Hleb is gone? Pop the champagne, Laporta-style: