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

11:30 TODAY SKY

Excelsior v Feyenoord

Home Win Draw Away Win
Key stats
  • Feyenoord have lost only one of their last 11 clashes with Excelsior
Expert verdict
Eredivisie champions Feyenoord were quickly out of the block last term - winning their opening nine matches - and they should have little trouble seeing off their Rotterdam rivals Excelsior in their first away game of the campaign. However, in a match with bragging rights at stake it could be worth taking Excelsior to notch a consolation. The hosts have netted in nine of their last ten home games, while Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side have shipped in five of their last six on their travels.

 

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