Valencia v Barcelona: Gary Neville out to restore pride as Luis Enrique closes on record
By James Kilpatrick
Last Updated: 10/02/16 8:32pm
Gary Neville is preparing his Valencia side to face Barcelona in the Copa del Rey semi-final second leg on Wednesday night aiming to restore some pride following their 7-0 defeat by Barca last week.
Neville has failed to record a single league victory in nine games since taking over as head coach, and the club's Copa del Rey cup run looks to have come to an end after being demolished at the Camp Nou last Wednesday.
Four goals from Luis Suarez and a Lionel Messi hat-trick gave Barcelona's an overwhelming advantage as they look to book their place in the Copa del Rey final.
Neville is expected to rest players for the second leg in order to focus on the league campaign which sees Valencia just four points off the relegation zone.
"It has to turn around on Saturday," said Neville. "We have to win this match on Saturday, that's the pressure I'm putting on myself and the expectation of everybody - we have to win on Saturday."
When dropping into the second tier was mentioned, Neville said: "I'm not even considering that.
"I know the situation we're in. I'm desperate to turn these results around. I will turn these results around."
For Barcelona, their hard-fought 2-0 win against Levante extended the club's unbeaten run to 28 games, meaning manager Luis Enrique has matched Pep Guardiola's record set in the 2010/2011 season.
"We have prepared for the match in the same way as if we didn't have the result of the first leg," Luis Enrique told a news conference on Tuesday.
"It's not an easy match. We'll need to find stimuli for the players to compete at a good level. We'll have to see if we're capable of still being competitive in any situation.
"I hope the team show up and go for the win from the off."
The winner of the tie is likely to face Sevilla in the final, with Unai Emery's men holding a 4-0 first-leg lead over Celta Vigo ahead of their meeting on Thursday.
Barcelona face no new injury concerns as Lionel Messi is expected to play despite missing training on Monday to have tests on his kidneys, the La Liga club said.
Sergi Samper, Gerard Gumbau, Wilfrid Kaptoum, Juan Camara and Dani Romera all trained with the senior squad on Monday and could be included, Rafinha (knee) will miss out.
Valencia welcomed back Paco Alcacer and Enzo Perez to training on Monday, both of whom missed the first leg due to respective ankle and facial injuries, Shkodran Mustafi is definitely out after his red card at Camp Nou.
Follow our live coverage from 7pm on Wednesday as Barcelona look to continue their unbeaten streak