Published: Sun, February 03, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Barcelona's incentive to end Real Madrid's season

Barcelona's incentive to end Real Madrid's season

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

Moreover, the second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu precedes a league match between the two teams at the same venue just 72 hours later.

Real Betis will take on Valencia in the other game.

Their last meeting was in the 2014 final, which Real Madrid won for its last title in the competition.

"This makes the season even more exciting, two intense games that will take a toll on us physically but which will be very attractive for the fans and for us", Valverde told a news conference ahead of Saturday's La Liga game against Valencia. "We trust our players and we will see what happens".

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Brunel has reunited experienced scrum-half Morgan Parra and fly-half Camille Lopez for the start of the tournament. France's two tries demonstrated their intrepid attack at. "He should have stayed on his man", Gatland said.

Guardiola, who enjoyed unheralded success with the Blaugrana during his four-year stint in charge of the club, appeared to have a dig at Los Blancos when he failed to mention them in a conversation about the greatest football sides in the past 10 years.

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.

Barca rallied from a first-leg deficit to thrash Sevilla in their quarter-final second leg and progress 6-3 on aggregate this week, while Madrid eased through 7-3 on aggregate against Girona.

Betis, who are eighth in La Liga, eliminated Espanyol with a 4-2 aggregate score in the previous round to reach the semifinals for the first time since the 2004-05 campaign, the last time they lifted the Copa. Two legs of the tie will be played on 7 February and 28 February. The first leg will be played at Betis' Estadio Benito Villamarin, which will host the final of the competition.

"We are delighted with him for how he manages the squad and that is important because there are times when it is not easy to live with so many players of that level and that everyone is happy".

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