FC Barcelona have enough problems on their hands without having to deal with Cristiano Ronaldo, so Tata Martino and his players will have received the injury update from Carlo Ancelotti with open arms. Ronaldo is still out of action with what is being reported as tendonitis or a muscular problem in the thigh.
Andres Iniesta and other Barcelona players have refused, publicly at least, to accept that Real Madrid will be significantly weakened by this, as they have the likes of Isco, Di Mari and Morata who could take his place, but they must be pretty glad of the news really.
Barca’s defence is weakened by the long term absence of Victor Valdes and it now seems that Gerard Pique will not be fit to play at the Mestalla stadium in Valencia tonight, although Martino is hoping that club captain Carles Puyol will be able to start. For me, that could decide the game.
Barcelona need a lift after two terrible results which saw them slip out of the Champions League and into third place in La Liga. The Copa Del Rey could be our only trophy and if we mess it up, there is no way back in the league either. But Puyol is an inspiration and no player will get away with less than 100 percent effort when he is on the pitch.
Messi, of course, is a key player, but he needs service, which he has not been getting much of. Hopefully Pedro, Alexis or both will start the final tonight, because their pace creates more space for the little magician to exploit. Come on Barca, remember the Bernabeu not long ago, beat Real Madrid and get the season back on track.