Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Under-fire Neville faces daunting Barca Cup semi

02 February 2016, 14:03

Barcelona - European champions Barcelona continue their quest for a second consecutive treble when Gary Neville's off-form Valencia visit the Camp Nou in the first-leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final on Wednesday.

Valencia's run to the last four of the Cup has been the only positive of a difficult start for the England coach in his first managerial role.

A first defeat at home in La Liga since November 2014, 1-0 against Sporting Gijon on Sunday, stretched Neville's winless streak in La Liga to eight games and left Valencia just five points above the relegation zone.

Neville's men face the most daunting task possible if they are to reach the final for the first time since 2008 against a Barca side that hasn't lost in 26 matches in all competitions.

However, Neville insists he is embracing the challenge of returning to the scene of one of his greatest triumphs where as a player he won the Champions League with Manchester United back in 1999.

"I can't wait for Wednesday night, and I think the players will be the same. These are the moments you live for as a coach and a player," he said.

One of Neville's boldest moves has been to name top scorer Paco Alcacer captain in place of Dani Parejo and he is hopeful the Spanish international will be fit to feature after two weeks out with an ankle injury.

"By Tuesday we'll have a full complement of players, Paco is looking good and is back running again."

The visitors could also hand debuts to Denis Cheryshev and Guilherme Siqueira after they sealed loan deals from Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid respectively until the end of the season.

Cheryshev's inclusion in the Real team for their Cup opener at Cadiz saw them thrown out the competition as he was suspended for an accumulation of yellow cards last season.

However, he is free to feature at the Camp Nou.

"Barcelona are a great opponent, but Valencia also can also do some damage," said the Russian international.

Barcelona boss Luis Enrique has a fully-fit squad to choose from and is likely to rotate after his side showed growing signs of fatigue from their demanding January schedule in edging past nine-man Atletico Madrid 2-1 on Saturday.

"It suits us to have four days rest before hosting Valencia," said defender Javier Mascherano.

"We have managed to keep winning and we're in an ideal situation, but in any moment it can slip away so we have to keep going."

The other semi-final sees Sevilla entertain Celta Vigo in their first-leg on Thursday.

After a difficult start to the campaign, Sevilla have won 11 consecutive games in all competitions at home.

Celta caused the shock of the quarter-finals by knocking out Atletico Madrid and will be boosted by the return of Spanish international Nolito.

The former Barcelona forward played since December due to a hamstring injury and was strongly linked with a return to Barca, but the move was scuppered by the tight financial restrictions on Barca to comply with financial fair play.

"We always knew Nolito's intention was to stay here," said Celta captain Hugo Mallo.

"We are waiting for him with open arms because he is a player that can decide games."

For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page!



Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Wilwon Ochieng
Deputy Governor's ally found with...

The EACC has recovered KES 2 million in fake currency from a close ally of Deputy Governor for Tharaka Nithi Eliud Mati. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Mudavadi given permission to join...

Musalia Mudavadi has been ghranted permission by his party to join the CORD Coalition. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
EACC officers raid Deputy Governo...

EACC officers raided the home of a Deputy Governor as theft case continues in court. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
New IEBC bosses to be named Novem...

New IEBC bosses will be named on November 30. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
DP Ruto has spoilt my name, activ...

DP William Ruto has spoilt my name, activist complains. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Apologise for attack on Auditor G...

Apologise for attack on Auditor General, President Uhuru Kenyatta is told by Kisumu Senator Anyang Nyong'o. Read more...