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Played
February 2, 2011 4:00 PM EST
Estadio Santiago Bernabéu — Madrid
Referee:‬ Fernando Teixeira‎
Attendance:‬ 75000‎
 
81′ Mesut Özil
 
 

Copa del Rey Preview: Real Madrid - Sevilla

Rocked by a shock defeat in La Liga, los Blancos aim to steady themselves quickly and reach the Copa final.

By Robin Bairner

Copa del Rey: Nicolas Escude, Mesut Ozil, Sevilla, Real Madrid (Getty Images)
Looking Ahead After Defeat

A place in the Copa del Rey final against Barcelona is likely to be what’s on offer to Real Madrid and Sevilla when they kick-off the second semi-final at the Bernabeu on Wednesday evening. Unlike Barca’s tie, nothing is yet settled before this fixture, though los Blancos start as strong favorites after a 1-0 victory at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan a week ago.

Since that fixture, Jose Mourinho’s side have suffered a real body-blow in the league, going down 1-0 against Osasuna on Sunday night. If talk of Barca having opened up a decisive four-point advantage prior to that game may have been a little over-hyped, the league would certainly appear to be the Catalans’ to throw away now they have a seven mark cushion.

“Tomorrow is a new day. There will be another match and we will be there,” Mourinho explained optimistically to the media on Sunday night.

Silverware in knockout competition remains a distinct possibility for los Merengues, though. Still in the Champions League, Madrid will first focus on Wednesday’s Copa encounter against Sevilla. A Karim Benzema strike presently separates the sides, giving the capital side real hope that they can progress to the final, where they could potentially gain some measure of revenge against Barca.

If los Blancos have been a little unconvincing away from home, at the Bernabeu they have been imperious under Mourinho, winning every match they’ve played. On Wednesday they really need to bounce back and give their fans a lift, and the odds are in favor of them doing just that.

Route To Europe

Sevilla are a side also struggling to match their supporters’ expectations in the Primera Division, though these are not as lofty as those in Madrid. European football is anticipated at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan next season, though presently stationed eighth in the standings, it’s difficult to see such hopes being matched by way of a strong Liga finish.

The Copa del Rey offers los Nervionenses another way into the Europa League, and Gregorio Manzano’s side will be doubly determined to win the competition because they are the defending champions, having negotiated their way past Barcelona last term to life the trophy.

Repeating that feat presently looks unlikely. Sevilla’s strength is generally their home form, so after losing the first leg 1-0, their hopes look slim. Los Rojiblancos certainly pushed their opponents all the way last Wednesday night and were controversially denied a goal when Raul Albiol cleared off the line from Luis Fabiano. It was a decision so tight, even television replays were inconclusive.

If the character of the Sevilla side was being questioned previously, Saturday night’s encounter against Deportivo La Coruna should have silenced any critics as the Andalucians bounced back from 2-0 and 3-1 down to secure a draw against the Galicians, despite playing the final 30 minutes with only 10 men after Andres Palop had been dismissed.

Manzano will have to whip up similar enthusiasm if a remarkable recovery is to be achieved against Madrid.


TEAM NEWS

Real Madrid


Marcelo returns to the squad after flu, but Pepe, Gonzalo Higuain and Jerzy Dudek remain injury issues. Pedro Leon, Sergio Canales and Fernando Gago are all overlooked by Jose Mourinho.

Sevilla


Gregorio Manzano is taking his entire panel to Madrid aside from Tiberio Guarente, Ivica Dragutinovic and Arouna Kone miss out due to injury. Andres Palop travels with the squad but is suspended, while Daniel Jimenez will probably start on the bench. New signings Ivan Rakitic and Gary Medel could debut.

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Last Five Matches
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Available Squads
1Iker CasillasGoalkeeper
33Raúl Albiol Defender
4Sergio RamosDefender
2Ricardo CarvalhoDefender
17ArbeloaDefender
6Sami KhediraMidfielder
14Xabi AlonsoMidfielder
22Ángel Di MaríaMidfielder
11Mesut ÖzilMidfielder
7Cristiano RonaldoStriker
9Karim BenzemaStriker
1AdànGoalkeeper
12MarceloDefender
24Ezequiel GarayDefender
22KakáMidfielder
10Emmanuel AdebayorStriker
25Esteban GraneroMidfielder
6Lassana DiarraMidfielder
13Javi VarasGoalkeeper
3Fernando NavarroDefender
21Sergio SánchezDefender
14Julien EscudéDefender
4Martín CáceresDefender
11Ivan RakiticMidfielder
5Didier ZokoraMidfielder
-RomaricMidfielder
15Jesús Navas GonzálezMidfielder
9NegredoStriker
12Fred KanoutéStriker
29Dani JiménezGoalkeeper
2Federico Julián FazioDefender
5AlexisDefender
11Diego CapelMidfielder
9Luis FabianoStriker
19PerottiMidfielder
8Gary MedelMidfielder
Probable Lineups
Iker Casillas 1
Raúl Albiol 33
Sergio Ramos 4
Ricardo Carvalho 2
Arbeloa 17
Sami Khedira 6
Xabi Alonso 14
Ángel Di María 22
Mesut Özil 11
Cristiano Ronaldo 7
Karim Benzema 9
Javi Varas 13
Fernando Navarro 3
Sergio Sánchez 21
Julien Escudé 14
Martín Cáceres 4
Ivan Rakitic 11
Didier Zokora 5
Romaric 0
Jesús Navas González 15
Negredo 9
Fred Kanouté 12
Prediction
Editor's Prediction
Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Lionel Messi Lionel Messi
Striker
Barcelona
5 0
Cesc Fàbregas Cesc Fàbregas
Midfielder
Barcelona
4 1
Ángel Di María Ángel Di María
Midfielder
Real Madrid
4 1
Raúl García Raúl García
Midfielder
Atlético de Madrid
4 0
Cristiano Ronaldo Cristiano Ronaldo
Striker
Real Madrid
3 2