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Copa del Rey 2017/18: 5 favourites to win the cup

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3.22K   //    13 Oct 2017, 10:12 IST

Barcelona v Sevilla - Copa del Rey Final
Barcelona are the defending champions of the Copa del Rey

The Spanish Cup, officially known as the Copa del Rey, started in full fashion in early September, with teams from the lower divisions of Spain taking part in the first round of the tournament. However, for the majority of the global audience, the Spanish Cup will essentially start in the last week of October, with La Liga teams set to join the mix.

In what would be the 116th staging of the Copa, 83 teams battle it out against each other to win the crown of Spain. After the Primera Division, the Copa is the most prestigious football competition in Spain.

The King's Cup, as it is also known, guarantees a UEFA Europa League group-stage spot to the winners, which has however been generally unused with the majority of Copa winners qualifying for the UEFA Champions League through their league positions.

FC Barcelona are the defending champions of the Spanish Cup, having consecutively won it for 3 years now. However, with a number of teams making positive starts to the season, the competition is definitely heating up.

Here's a quick look at 5 major teams in contention for the Spanish crown this season:

#5: Valencia

Valencia v Monaco - UEFA Champions League: Qualifying Round Play Off First Leg
The Mestalla is the home ground of Valencia C.F.

Seven-time Spanish Cup champions, Los Che will be strong contenders, as always. One of the most successful and biggest clubs in Spain, Valencia have proved their strength against big teams on numerous occasions.

Starting their league season on a high note, Los Murciélagos will be under the guidance of experienced manager Marcelino García Toral. In his first season at the Mestalla, the Spaniard has found a reliable attacking duo in the likes of Simone Zaza and Rodrigo.

Third-highest scorers in La Liga before the October International break, Valencia CF would be strong contenders to stir an upset in the Camp Nou by denying Barcelona the Spanish Cup, should they come up against the defending champions.

The defence would, however, be a problem for Toral's team, who have conceded a significant amount of goals in the league due to frequent defensive lapses.

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