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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jan 27, 2006

Real to face Zaragoza or Barca in Copa semis

MADRID, Jan 27 (Reuters) - Real Madrid face an appetising tie against either arch-rivals Barcelona or 2004 winners Real Zaragoza in the King's Cup semi-finals.

Friday's draw pitted Espanyol against the winners of the tie between Valencia and Deportivo Coruna in the other semi-final.

The quarter-finals are due to be completed on Wednesday and the first legs of the semi-finals will be on Feb. 8.

Real will play the second leg of their tie at the Bernabeu on Feb. 15, but the date of the return match involving Espanyol will not be decided until after Valencia play Depor because the Catalans are involved in the UEFA Cup that week.

Zaragoza have the upper hand in their quarter-final with Barca after ending the Catalans' 18-match winning run with a stunning 4-2 win in the first leg at La Romareda on Thursday.

They eliminated Barcelona at the same stage in 2004 and went on to beat Real Madrid in the final.

Real, who have made winning the Cup a priority this season, eased their way into the last four with a 2-0 aggregate victory over holders Real Betis.

Real vice-president Emilio Butragueno said the delays in previous rounds would create problems for the club given the already congested fixture list.

'The dates are awkward because we no longer have a week free to prepare for the Arsenal game (in the Champions League) and we don't even know who we will be playing,' he told reporters.

'If we play Barca it will increase the interest from fans and the media, but we aren't going to jump the gun.'

Like Real, Espanyol will also have to wait to find out their semi-final opponents as the quarter-final second leg between Valencia and Depor was abandoned after a linesman was hit by an object thrown from the crowd at the Mestalla.

Referee Carlos Megia Davila halted the game after the official was cut on the head moments after Valencia took the lead to level the tie 1-1 on aggregate.

The Spanish Football Federation has decided the remaining 46 minutes of the game will be played behind closed doors next Wednesday, but Deportivo are to appeal.

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