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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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Valverde: 'Coutinho versatility a big help'
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Barcelona1594241192231
2Sevilla1584327161128
3Atletico MadridAtletico1577121101128
4Real Madrid158252319426
5AlavesAlaves157351817124
6Levante156452725222
7Real Betis156451617-122
8Getafe155641612421
9GironaGirona155641717021
10Espanyol156361720-321
11Celta Vigo155552824420
12Real Valladolid155551315-220
13Real Sociedad155461818019
14EibarEibar155461923-419
15Valencia153931212018
16Leganes154561519-417
17Villarreal153571519-414
18Athletic Bilbao152851523-814
19Rayo Vallecano152491530-1510
20Huesca1514101230-187

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