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Xavi Names Favourites For Real Madrid vs Barcelona Clash

Barcelona coach, Xavi Hernandez has tipped Real Madrid as the favourites to for the Copa Del Rey semi final clash between both teams.

Real Madrid will host Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu in the first leg of the tie on Thursday night.

The hosts played out a 1-1 draw in their last match against Atletico Madrid, while Barcelona suffered a shock loss to Almeria.

The Blaugrana are also expected to be without the services of Robert Lewandowski, Pedri and Ousmane Dembele for the encounter.

“It’s a strong Madrid, a Madrid that have won trophies recently, we are a team in the process of construction,” Xavi told a news conference.

“Madrid are competing in Europe, they thrashed Liverpool at their ground, they are favourites, to be honest.

“We have the personality and players to hurt them too, we’ve shown it – for me it’s quite an even tie.”

Barcelona defeated Real Madrid to win the Spanish Super Cup in January, while Real Madrid won the World Club Cup in February.

“We have to be more of a team than ever, as much in defence as in attack, or strategically,” said the coach.

“These games are decided by small details, we have to be very brave, to have personality and lose the ball as little as possible, because they can hurt you with Vinicius, (Fede) Valverde, Rodrygo, (Karim) Benzema.

“It’s a game to show our model of play, as we did in the Super Cup.”

Barcelona will be hoping to bounce back after losing their last two matches against Manchester United and Almeria.

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