It’s no secret that any coach knowing they will face Lionel Messi will spend much of his preparation planning a way to stop the Argentina No.10 and Valencia boss Marcelino has been no different ahead of the Copa del Rey final. If Valencia are to achieve a positive result, they’ll need to nullify the Barcelona star and it won’t be easy. In both LaLiga Santander meetings of the sides this season, Los Che took the lead before falling victim to the unstoppable Messi, pulling the Catalans back for two draws. “The key is giving Messi little to do in the game,” Marcelino said. “The problem is that although he appears sparingly, his actions have a decisive influence.” Marcelino has worked day and night to find a solution, perhaps made easier by the absence of both Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele, but stopping Messi is easier said than done. The first four times he faced Messi he was able to keep him at bay, but the Argentine has three goals in his last two games against Valencia. Ezequiel Garay is likely to be the man leading their defensive unit, while Francis Coquelin and Geoffrey Kondogbia will share the role of following… Read full this story
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