Gonzalo Guedes
Gonzalo Guedes has scored five goals since joining Valencia from PSG in the summer. Getty


  • Key trio suffered respective injuries during the 4-1 defeat to Real Madrid at the weekend.
  • Los Che visit the Nou Camp for the first leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final.

Valencia boss Marcelino Garcia Toral faces a selection crisis ahead of the first leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final tie against Barcelona on Thursday (1 February) after Gonzalo Guedes, Ezequiel Garay, Geoffrey Kondogbia and Jeison Murillo were all left out of the 18-man squad.

Guedes, Garay and Kondogbia made Marcelino's starting line-up during the La Liga 4-1 defeat to Real Madrid on weekend.

Paris Saint-Germain loanee Guedes was forced off at half-time and his absence for the clash with Barcelona was expected.

However, the absences of Garay and France midfielder Kondogbia come as a big setback for Marcelino after the two players completed the full 90 minutes against Real.

Guedes has been arguably Los Che's best player this season with Kondogbia also being a key member in the midfield alongside Dani Parejo.

Garay's absence for the trip to Barcelona is a major concern for the Valencia boss with Murillo remaining on the sidelines due to a long-term injury sustained in November.

The positive news for the Valencia boss is that Gabriel Paulista has recovered in time to face Barcelona despite the former Arsenal defender also suffering an injury scare during the defeat to Real.

Marcelino only has two centre-backs available in Gabriel and Vezo but the Valencia boss says that the injury crisis won't be used as an excuse when his side visit Barcelona on Thursday [1 February] night.

"We are really excited to be in this knock-out round, in the draw we weren't lucky and got the worst opponent possible, they're maybe the most in-form team in Europe, and then it is a given that we can't use all of the players that we would like to be able to, Marcelino said in the press conference ahead of the first leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final.

"We are going with important absentees, but our motivation will be as high as it can be, as we are going into a tie with the aim of getting to a final. We are going to Barcelona with the resolve to take a good result for then second leg in Mestalla,

"This is football, you have to go through periods where these things can happen. We don't want to have a lot of injuries, for a while we have had a problem area for this, and that's the defence. These are things that can happen, we hope that it doesn't last long, but the rest of the group are going to work hard. We aren't looking for any excuses. Of course we would want to be able to call on everyone, but this can happen and that is where the togetherness, work rate and effort comes in to help us hit a top performance."