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Barcelona, looking for record 25th Copa del Rey, plays Valencia in semifinals

Barcelona, looking for record 25th Copa del Rey, plays Valencia in semifinals

FC Barcelona's hunt for a record 25th Copa del Rey title is coinciding with a great run of results.
The Catalan club, which hasn't won the trophy in a decade, goes into Wednesday's game against Valencia after three straight wins in all competitions, and unbeaten in 2008.
Though the "Fantastic Four" lineup of Ronadinho, Lionel Messi, Samuel Eto'o and Thierry Henry has yet to play at the same time, that hasn't mattered.
Eto'o scored a hat trick in Sunday's 5-1 win over Levante to move within two points of league leader Real Madrid. Messi completed a sharp passing play with a goal before setting up two of Eto'o's goals. And Ronaldinho continued his good play after missing the start of 2008 because of injury and poor performances.
"We're feeling very confident. The team is in good shape, morale is high," said Xavi Hernandez, who also scored against Levante. "We have to take advantage of the moment."
Henry and defender Rafael Marquez could return after being rested against Levante.
The Copa del Rey has been Valencia's salvation through a terrible stretch when it fell out of the Champions League and managed only two of a possible 30 points in the league.
Midfielder David Albelda's lawsuit against the club has been the latest distraction. On Friday, players were summoned to local court to testify in the matter that could eventually lead to president Juan Soler stepping down.
The return leg will be played at Valencia's Mestalla stadium on March 20.
Getafe goes into Thursday's other semifinal game against Racing Santander on a high, coming off a 1-0 win over Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Getafe advanced to the last 16 of the UEFA Cup last week and is looking to return to the Copa del Rey final _ to be played at the Bernabeu on April 16 _ for the second straight season.
Getafe coach Michael Laudrup knows Racing offers a different type of opponent than Madrid.
"They score few goals but also allow very little. It's going to be a tactical game," the Dane said.
Getafe should have Esteban Granero and Ruben De La Red available after both missed out on the win over their former team.
Racing is coming off a 1-0 win of Almeria in the league and has already made history by reaching the last four for the first time. It can clinch a place in its first final at its home ground _ El Sardinero _ on March 19.


Updated : 2021-01-16 17:03 GMT+08:00