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We did it against Athletic Club in 2017, we did it against Espanyol in 2018, we did it against Levante just two weeks ago and now it’s time to do it again. Nobody said winning the Copa del Rey was easy, and if Barça want to win the trophy for a record fifth time in a row, they will once again need to turn around a first leg defeat when they face Sevilla at Camp Nou on Wednesday evening at 9.30pm CET.
DID YOU KNOW?
Sevilla’s first leg victory was only the second time in 25 meetings across all competitions that they had beaten Barça.
A repeat of four of the last ten results of games in all competitions between the sides at Camp Nou would be enough to see Barça through to the semis (3-0; 5-1; 5-0; 4-0). That 4-0 win, incidentally, was in the Spanish Super Cup of 2010/11, when a Pep Guardiola-led Barça cancelled out a 3-1 deficit from the Sanchez Pizjuan.
Albeit all in games dating back to over a quarter of a century ago, Barça have lost eight cup first legs 2-0 in their history and only once went on to qualify. That was in 1966 when a 2-0 defeat to Mallorca was followed by an emphatic 5-1 win at Camp Nou.
Should Barça get the job done, they would extend what is already an all-time record streak of semi-final qualifications to nine in a row.
Jasper Cillessen, Clement Lenglet and Nélson Semedo are the only players that have featured in all five of Barça’s Copa del Rey games this season. Denis Suárez and Ousmane Dembélé are our top scorers in the competition with two each.
Leo Messi, who didn't feature in the first leg, has scored 32 goals and provided 14 assists in his 35 games against Sevilla.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Leo Messi: "It’s going to be tough to turn around a 2-0 loss to a great side like Sevilla, who have such good players and are so strong on the counter. We’re going to need our supporters.”
Ivan Rakitic: “It’s always special for me to play against my friends at Sevilla. We did it against Levante, and we want to do it again. We want to stay in the cup.”
THE OTHER QUARTER FINALS
Valencia v Getafe (Valencia go through 3-2 on aggregate)
Real Betis v Espanyol (first leg ended 1-1)
Girona v Real Madrid (Real Madrid won the first leg 4-2)
Ter Stegen, N. Semedo, Piqué, I. Rakitic, Sergio, Coutinho, Arthur, Suarez, Messi, Cillessen, Malcolm, Lenglet, Jordi Alba, Prince, S Roberto, Aleñá, Vidal and Vermaelen have been called up by Ernesto Valverde.
O. Dembélé, Rafinha and Umtiti are still unavailable through injury, while Samper and Murillo are left out by technical decision. Denis Suárez misses out as he looks to resolve his future.
Pablo Machín's side might be leading in the tie, but the coach is under no illusions of how difficult a return leg this will be. "We're coming up against a top team who will be looking for the comeback. We have to make use of the result in the first leg, try and score to increase our chances and give our best so that we can qualify."
Ernesto Valverde stressed the importance of a full Camp Nou as Barça look to turnaround the two-goal deficit. "We want to get through and we need to do well to get through. What's clear in everything we've said is that we want to carry on in the competition, that's clear. We know that in these games, when you're behind, the support if the fans is crucial. At the end of the day football is made up of great moments and great matches. We would love to come back. Let's not kid ourselves, it's an important factor playing at home."
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