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Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez is on the verge of leading Barcelona back to the Copa del Rey final and repeating a feat last achieved when Pep Guardiola was in charge more than a decade ago.


Barcelona can return to the final with just a draw in the semi-final second leg on Wednesday but a win would make it four straight triumphs over its rival for the first time since Guardiola won five in a row from 2008-10.



The Catalan club has never defeated Madrid four times in a row in the same season. It beat Madrid four times in 1982-83 but not in consecutive matches.


Barcelona lost 3-1 to Madrid in the first “clasico” of the season in the Spanish league, but since then it won 3-1 in the Spanish Super Cup final, 1-0 in the first leg of the Copa semi-final and 2-1 in the other league match.

“I think they are hurt and will be wanting to get revenge after losing the last three games,” Xavi said on Tuesday.

"They have every chance of winning and are very good at games like this where they need to mount a comeback. I still think they're the favourites. They are very hard to beat over two legs."

'Don't go crazy'

Real Madrid must focus on putting in a complete performance instead of going all out in their search for a goal, manager Carlo Ancelotti said.

Real centre back Eder Militao scored an own goal in the first half of last month's first leg, before Barcelona defended superbly to frustrate Ancelotti's side and secure a 1-0 win.

"It's always the most important game for me, for Real Madrid and for the fans. There is a very big rivalry," Ancelotti told reporters on Tuesday, ahead of the game at Camp Nou.

"This match allows us to play another final and it is the most important objective. It is an important competition and we are close. We will do everything we can to play in a final.

"The idea is not to go crazy to score a goal. The idea is to play a complete game with and without the ball. We haven't got there many times and that's an important aspect. We're not going to go crazy, because you can score a goal in the fifth minute and then concede two."

When asked if he could field a different lineup or formation to outfox the Catalan club, Ancelotti said, "it's difficult to change the system after working on the same system all year".

"Small details are where you can surprise your opponent. In general, a change in the system will only surprise you," the Italian added.

Ancelotti added that defender Antonio Rudiger was back in training.

Today’s match

Barcelona vs Real Madrid. Kick-off 12.15am Thursday, Live on FanCode

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