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Barca in driving seat to King's Cup final

Editor: zhenglimin 丨Xinhua

02-06-2017 20:16 BJT

MADRID, Feb. 6 (Xinhua) -- FC Barcelona look to defend a 2-1 first leg lead in front of their fans against Atletico Madrid on Tuesday night for their seventh appearance in the King's Cup knockout competition in the past nine years against either Alaves or Celta Vigo.

Barca's 2-1 win in the Vicente Calderon Stadium has put them in the driving seat and they will be confident of sealing the tie in front of their fans in the Camp Nou Stadium, however, they will be wary of an Atletico side which still possesses a potent threat in attack.

Barca coach Luis Enrique was able to rest some key players in their home win against Athletic Club Bilbao on Saturday with Luis Suarez watching the 90 minutes from the bench and Gerard Pique taken off at halftime as a precaution.

He should also be able to welcome back Andres Iniesta and Sergio Busquets after injury, although it is doubtful they will play from the start.

On the negative side Barca will be without Neymar, who has been in outstanding form of late, through suspension, while Rafinha also misses out after suffering a horrific collision with goalkeeper Ter Stegen on Saturday which left him with a deep cut in his forehead an a broken nose.

Atletico rested striker Kevin Gameiro, who is likely to start on Tuesday and will look to adopt a high-pressing game, which has given Barca problems in the past. Diego Simeone will be without his captain, Gabi Fernandez, who is also suspended, while Jose Gimenez is out injured and Lucas Hernandez is unlikely to be included because of his ongoing legal issues.

Simeone will be reminding his players that they were able to draw 1-1 in Barcelona in the Liga Santander and that last season they knocked the Catalans out of the Champions League.

As things stand Barca are favorites to go through, but Atletico never go down without a fight.

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