Barcelona are as good as through to the Copa del Rey final after beating a defensive-minded Real Sociedad 2-0 at the Camp Nou during their semi-final first leg on Wednesday.
Sergio Busquets’ neat finish and a howler from goalkeeper Zubikarai gave Gerardo Martino’s men a commanding lead in the two-legged affair, which resumes at the Anoeta Stadium on Wednesday night.
Of course, us Barcelona fans in the bet365 betting world want nothing more than to see the stars rip apart Sociedad, but Martino must rest his big names if Barca are to successfully fight on all fronts as the business end of the season draws near.
Just a glimpse at our fixture list shows what tough times we have ahead. Two gruelling fixtures against Premier League title chasers Manchester City await us between now and mid-March, before a trip to the Bernabeu before that month is out.
Martino must ask himself whether or not it is worth risking the likes of Lionel Messi, Xavi and Alexis Sanchez for the Copa del Rey fixture, with so much at stake in the coming weeks.
Considering Barcelona have a two-goal cushion heading into this Sociedad clash, the chances of their second-string losing the tie are slim indeed. And, if the prospect of making the final was not enough of a carrot, the inevitability of meeting Real Madrid for the trophy should mean Barca’s squad players are ready for this second leg.
The sides last met in the final in 2011 when Madrid pinched the tie 1-0 in extra time. Make no mistake, us fans want revenge from that horrible night in the Mestalla as much as the players do, which is why Barcelona are a sure-fire beton bet365 to make the 2014 final without the aid of Messi and Sanchez on Wednesday.