Real Madrid draw Barcelona in Copa del Rey semi-final






Real Madrid will face defending champions Barcelona in the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey.

The draw made on Friday means there will be back-to-back Clasicos, with the second leg due to take place in the last week of February, before Madrid host Barca in La Liga on 2 March.

The first leg will be played at the Camp Nou next week before a return at the Santiago Bernabeu. The provisional dates are February 6 and 27. Real Betis will go up against Valencia in the other semi-final.

Barcelona are 10 points clear of Madrid in La Liga and will be favourites to progress but their opponents have found form in recent weeks, winning six of their last seven matches.

Barcelona director Guillermo Amor said:

“Real Madrid are playing well and they will be the Madrid team we always expect  a group of winners that competes for everything, that can give us a scare if we are not ready to work.”

“There’s nothing like it,” Real Madrid director Emilio Butragueno said. “We are talking about two teams with a lot of resources, with extraordinary players and we always expect very tight games.

“We trust our players but obviously this is one of the greatest games in the world today.”

The opener at the Camp Nou will present Madrid with a chance to avenge their 5-1 hammering there in October too, a result that led to Julen Lopetegui being sacked as coach.

They reached the Copa del Rey semis after completing a 7-3 aggregate victory over Girona on Thursday while Barcelona pulled off a brilliant comeback to beat Sevilla, overturning a 2-0 first-leg deficit by winning 6-1 at the Camp Nou.
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