MX23RW : Wednesday, March 20 09:06:37

Team News: Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez lead Barcelona line against Valencia

Team News: Messi, Suarez lead Barca line
© Offside
Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde picks a strong starting XI for Thursday night's Copa del Rey semi-final first leg against Valencia at Camp Nou.

Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde has picked a strong starting XI for Thursday night's Copa del Rey semi-final first leg against Valencia at Camp Nou.

The Blaugrana have no fresh injury and suspension worries and boast a sizeable lead at the top of La Liga, which enables them to make use of their big guns in the cup.

Jasper Cillessen has been utilised in cup competitions and is thus named in goal, but the outfield players are largely the first-choice options, with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez leading the line.

New signing Philippe Coutinho and in-form Paulinho are named on the bench, while Aleix Vidal makes a surprise return to the side.

Barca have now reached the semi-final stages of this tournament for a record eighth time in a row and are bidding to claim their 30th Copa crown.

Valencia, meanwhile, have several injury issues as Jeisson Murillo, Ezekiel Garay and Goncalo Guedes are all sidelined.

However, Carlos Soler comes back into the side on the back of an injury while Gabriel Paulista returns from suspension.

Barcelona: Cillessen; Roberto, Pique, Umtiti, Alba; Vidal, Rakitic, Busquets, Iniesta; Messi, Suarez
Subs: Ter Stegen, Suarez, Coutinho, Paulinho, Alcacer, Digne, Mina

Valencia: Jaume; Montoya, Vezo, Gabriel, Gaya; Soler, Parejo, Coquelin, Pereira; Vietto, Rodrigo
Subs: Maksimovic, Zaza, Neto, Latorre, Torres, Mina, Vidal

Follow all the action from Camp Nou with Sports Mole's live match commentary.

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Philippe Coutinho in action for Barcelona on January 28, 2018
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool31237170185276
2Manchester CityMan City30242479215874
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs30201957322561
4Arsenal30186663392460
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd30177658401858
6Chelsea30176750331757
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves30128103836244
8Watford30127114244-243
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham31126134146-542
10Leicester CityLeicester31125144043-341
11Everton31117134342140
12Bournemouth31115154356-1338
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle3198143140-935
14Crystal Palace3096153641-533
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2996143242-1033
16Southampton3079143450-1630
17Burnley3186173559-2430
18Cardiff CityCardiff3084182757-3028
19Fulham3145222970-4117
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield3135231857-3914

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