Valverde tips Pique to start semi

Barcelona Coach Ernesto Valverde has hinted Gerard Pique will start against Valencia in Thursday’s Copa del Rey semi-final second leg.

The Spain international picked up a knock in Sunday’s draw with Espanyol but despite premature reports, he appears to be fit for the Copa clash, which Barca lead 1-0 on aggregate.

“I think he can play a part in the game,” Valverde told reporters at his pre-match press conference.

“It is correct he picked up a strain in the match with Espanyol but we have been analysing him in training and believe he can overcome this for the Copa match.

“Valencia are always difficult to play against due to their transition speed of play and their skill in the counter attacks, so it will be a very tough game.

“For this game they will be more positive and aggressive because they are playing at home and chasing it for their supports.

“Will Yerry Mina play? He has been called up and that means he is ready, but we must first analyse others and our own approach.”

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