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

19:00 TODAY BT2

Sporting Lisbon v Belenenses

Home Win Draw Away Win
Key stats
  • Islam Slimani has scored seven in his last eight Primeira games
Expert verdict
High-flying Sporting started the weekend five points clear in the Primeira Liga and they should at least maintain that margin with a win against their city rivals. Islam Slimani has been a key component in Sporting’s success this season and the Algerian looks the man most likely to break the deadlock.


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