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FC Barcelona are through to the Copa del Rey semi-final, where they meet in what promises to be fascinating clash with Sevilla. Two of the most in-form sides in La Liga meet at the Sánchez Pizjuán on Wednesday at 9.00pm CET.
Sevilla are on a run of seven games unbeaten in the league and cup, and have only conceded one goal in those games. But Barça have nothing to envy of that record. They have won their last eleven games in all competitions (including the one on penalties against Real Sociedad) and that is despite, quite extraordinarily, only one of those games being played at Camp Nou.
Remember, unlike all the other games in this year’s cup, the semi-finals are played over two legs. The sides will meet again at Camp Nou on March 3 to decide who is going to the final at the Estadio de La Cartuja, Seville on April 17 – where they’ll face the winners of the other semi-final between Athletic Club and Levante.
How they got here
Ciudad de Lucena 0-3 Sevilla
Linares 0-2 Sevilla
Leganés 0-1 Sevilla (aet)
Cornellà 0-2 Barça (aet)
Round of 16
Sevilla 3-0 Valencia
Rayo Vallecano 1-2 Barça
Almeria 0-1 Sevilla
Granada 3-5 Barça (aet)
Barça have won the Spanish Cup a record thirty times, including an amazing four wins in a row from 2015 to 2018. In two of those victories they played Sevilla in the final, winning 2-0 and 5-0.
Sevilla, meanwhile, have five wins to their name, most recently in 2010 when they beat Atlético Madrid in the final in front of 93,000 people at Camp Nou.
Recent Copa del Rey meetings
2019 Sevilla 2-0 Barça / Barça 6-1 Sevilla (Barça won 6-3 on aggregate)
2018 (FINAL) Barça 5-0 Sevilla
2016 (FINAL) Barça 2-0 Sevilla
2010 Barça 1-2 Sevilla / Sevilla 0-1 Barça (Sevilla won on away goals)
2008 Sevilla 1-1 Barça / Barça 0-0 Sevilla (Barça won on away goals)
Ronald Koeman has a number of injury concerns. In addition to Gerard Piqué, Ronald Araujo, Philippe Coutinho, Sergi Roberto and Ansu Fati, he is now also missing Sergiño Dest (thigh), Miralem Pjanic (foot) and Martin Braithwaite (hamstring).
Sevilla have casualties of their own, with Lucas Ocampos the latest name added to an injury list that already includes Óscar Rodríguez, Marcos Acuña and Jesús Navas.
Did you know?
Barça (13) and Sevilla (9) have played more Copa del Rey semi-finals this century than anyone else.
Although the teams have a rich history of cup meetings, they haven’t met at the semi-final stage for over a century. Way back in 1919, Barça won the first leg 4-3 and then also won, 3-0, in the return played in Madrid.
This is only the second time that Ronald Koeman has managed to team in the Copa del Rey. The last was with Valencia in 2018, and they won it!
Koeman’s last ever goal for Barça was a penalty at the Sánchez Pizjuán in 1995. And the man he scored against was Sevilla’s current manager Julen Lopetegui!
Leo Messi has scored more goals (37) against Sevilla than any other team. That's as a senior... But he had already scored a few before then too...
Barça manager Ronald Koeman (full video here): "I am leaving players out because they’re not fully fit. We have eight or nine injuries, but I won’t take risks with them. There are always other solutions.”
"We tried our best with Dest, but the problem hasn’t gone away and we won’t play him until he’s 100 per cent. That might be Saturday, or maybe PSG.”
“The team has overcome a lot of difficulties. The players have such strong mentalities. With all the games and injuries, I can only give them 10 out of 10.”
"It’s important not to depend on just one player and we have a lot of players who score goals. Nobody creates chances like we do. We have quality, goals, creativity, players who take men on and the best in the world up front.”
“I always like to play away first, whether there are fans in the stadium or not. We have three games coming up against Sevilla and they’re always exciting against a team that brings out the best in you.”
Sevilla manager Julen Lopetegui: “They aren’t just about Messi, their whole team has found good form. They have top class players. That’s obvious, but we do too. It’s going to be a great game and being a semi-final just makes it even more attractive.”
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