Barbastro vs Barcelona

Estadio Municipal de Deportes is the venue as Barbastro and Barcelona lock horns in a ‘David vs Goliath’ Copa del Rey tie.

Stuck in the fourth tier of Spanish football, Barbastro head into this tie as significant outsiders despite going unbeaten in their last five matches (W4, D1). Three of their four victories during that sequence yielded a narrow 1-0 scoreline, including an unexpected triumph against top-flight strugglers Almeria in the previous Copa del Rey round. That same result saw Barbastro overcome Ponferradina in their opening cup tie, highlighting a stubborn backline as potentially the most prominent feature of the team. Manager Dani Martinez will rely on his defenders to provide a backdrop for a potential upset, with Barbastro racking up six successive clean sheets at home ahead of this encounter (W4, D2).

Meanwhile, Barcelona’s pursuit of a record-extending 32nd Copa del Rey title and their first trophy in the competition since 2020/21 begins days after a stunning second-half comeback saw them beat Las Palmas 2-1 at the start of the new calendar year. The ‘Blaugrana’ signed off for 2023 with a dramatic 3-2 home win against La Liga basement boys Almeria to end a three-match winless run in all competitions (D1, L2), so they can’t take anything for granted. Defensive solidity was the backbone of Barca’s success in 2022/23. Yet they’re no longer that convincing at the back, failing to keep a clean sheet in five consecutive games ahead of this trip and conceding 2+  goals on three occasions. Furthermore, they’ve only managed three shutouts

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