Barcelona to play Real Madrid in Copa del Rey semifinals

Puyol backs the plan to get Xavi on board. Image PA Images

Puyol backs the plan to get Xavi on board. Image PA Images

The second leg is four days before they meet once more at the Bernabeu in La Liga.

"It is bound to be a fascinating tie and it will be interesting to see who makes it through to the final".

Barcelona routed Madrid 5-1 at the Camp Nou in October in the teams' first league game this season.

Barcelona are top of La Liga, five points clear of second-placed Atletico Madrid and 10 ahead of Real in third.

That includes victories in each of the last three as they bounced back from a 2-0 home loss against Real Sociedad.

Barca overturned a two-goal deficit from the first leg of their quarter-final against Sevilla, to win 6-3 on aggregate.

They will now face one of Real Betis, Valencia or Barcelona in a two-legged affair next week and in the final week of February in their bid to make it to the final.

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Real Madrid last won the tournament during Jose Mourinho's era as manager at the Bernebeu and Barca were are the receiving end of the loss but Los Merengues have not tasted success in the Spanish Cup competition ever since. It'll be a tight semi-final and they did have a bit of a lull in the league but they seem over it, playing confident football and getting better results too.

Suarez said: "We are all very happy, [Valverde] has a lot of confidence in the players, there is confidence that they speak in game situations and he is willing to listen to the players".

'But now we are going to an attractive stadium (to play) against an important rival such as Barcelona.

'We hope to make things very hard, looking for a positive result'.

Barcelona also unveiled new signing Jean-Clair Todibo on Friday after the 19-year-old's summer move from Toulouse was brought forward.

Jasper Cillessen has been ruled out for six weeks by a calf injury, Barcelona confirmed on Friday.

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