Clasico rivals ready for Copa semi-final

BARCELONA and Real Madrid both welcomed key men back to full fitness as the clubs prepare for Tuesday’s Copa del Rey semi-final second leg at Camp Nou.

The tie is delicately poised after a 1-1 draw at the Bernabeu but Barca, who have Adriano available for selection following a thigh injury, are strong 4-9 favourites with Ladbrokes to qualify for the final and the Catalans are at 7-10 to retain their Copa del Rey title.

Xabi Alonso and Karim Benzema both took part in Real Madrid’s final training session ahead of the second leg. Real Madrid are 7-2 with Ladbrokes to win the Spanish Cup and bet365 make the Whites 2-1 to reach the final.

The teams also meet in the league on Saturday before Real Madrid head to Manchester United on March 5 and Jose Mourinho said he cannot wait for the make-or-break fixtures.

Mourinho said: "They are matches that we all like and that everyone wants to play. I like them. I prefer matches of this magnitude to others where there is nothing at stake. So we are ready to play."

Match in Focus

17:30 Sa 30May BBC1

Arsenal v Aston Villa

Home Win Draw Away Win
Key stats
  • There has not been more than a one-goal margin of victory in the last ten FA Cup finals
Expert verdict
Arsenal are red-hot favourites to retain the FA Cup, but the holders face a trickier test than the odds suggest when they take on Aston Villa at Wembley. The Gunners will be reasonably happy with their form in the second half of the season, although they remain capable of chucking in dodgy performances under pressure.

Competitions

Whether it's the Johnstone's Paint Trophy or the Champions League, Soccerbase will ensure you don't experience a big cup upset

Teams

Agonising over Aberdeen?
Yearning for Yeovil? Our database is crammed with every football club you could possibly wish for

Players

A plethora of players ranging from Adebayor to Zamora. All you need to know to find out who is the best bet to score next

Referees

Card-happy control freak?
Astute arbiter? Make the right decision on any referee with the help of our specialist pages

Managers

From Allardyce to Zola, our massive manager database, with histories and win ratios, is sure to get your vote of confidence