The El Clasico Semi Final Fixtures And Preview
Founded in 1903, the Copa del Rey is an annual Spanish football competition organised by the Royal Spanish Football Federation. As Spain’s oldest knockout tournament, it is billed as the El Clasico, which simply means a classic match between historic rivals. This year’s semi finals will feature Barcelona verses Real Madrid, neither of which are strangers to the final. The other semi final is between Real Betis and Valencia, who have both been previous winners.
Can Real Madrid Stop Barcelona Winning 5 In A Row?
Barcelona have won the Copa del Rey an astonishing 30 times, and they have been runners up 10 times too. The unstoppable force of Barcelona are in control at the top of La Liga once again, and being 7 points ahead of their nearest rival, they look supreme at the moment. As always in football, things can change, but we have to remember that we are talking about mighty Barcelona, who are probably the best group of players in the world, and so it looks very much like it will be number 31.
Many pundits have written off Real Madrid, and the loss of Ronaldo to Juventus hasn’t helped. Interestingly, Real have won the Copa del Rey 19 times, and they have been runners up an incredible 20 times. The undeniable reality is that Real have appeared in the final just as often as Barcelona but for one reason or another, they have been less successful. One thing is for certain, this is a battle royal between two giants of the game, and neither of them will want to lose. Providing Real don’t lose their nerve, this game will be as tight as it gets.
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Nothing For Either Team To Lose. It’s Too Close To Call
Real Betis aren’t exactly setting the La Liga alight at the moment, but they thoroughly deserve their shot at the title. The Andalusian population will be dreaming of glory once again, and hoping for a repeat of their 2005 success against Osasuna. The last two games against Valencia ended in a draw on both occasions, which included the first leg of the Copa del Rey. Bowing out of the Europa league on Thursday 21st of February, El Lobos (The Wolves) will want to bounce back quickly, but they are going to have to perform much better than they did against Rennes.
Valencia aren’t faring any better than Betis in La Liga right now, and they are facing a similar predicament. However, unlike Betis, they are still in the Europa league with a win over Celtic on Thursday 21st February. Los Murciélagos (The Bats) have got to look lively, or they will miss the chance of a final. Manager Marcelino Garcia Toral told the press after the victory over Celtic that he was satisfied but no more than that. The game against Betis will either be a blockbuster or the most boring game ever.
Copa del Rey Semi Final Fixtures:
- Real Madrid v Barcelona – Wednesday 27th February – Kick off at 2000hrs
- Valencia v Real Betis – Thursday 28th February – Kick off at 2000hrs