Copa: Sevilla and Betis hit form for tasty derby
MADRID, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Sevilla and Real Betis both warmed up for Thursday's eagerly-awaited city derby in the Copa Del Rey quarter-finals with morale-boosting wins in the Primera Liga at the weekend.
Sevilla, who have home advantage for the first leg, beat Levante 4-2 away for their first league victory of 2007 after a faltering run in January.
'This win gives us more confidence for the derby. The four goals show that we have recovered the sharpness we had in front of goal earlier in the season,' Sevilla coach Juande Ramos said.
The UEFA Cup holders have not won the Copa Del Rey since 1948 but are chasing Barcelona hard at the top of the table and are 20 points ahead of their city rivals.
Betis, Cup winners in 2005, climbed out of the relegation places with an impressive 2-1 comeback win over in-form Valencia on Sunday.
They knocked out Real Madrid on the away goals rule in the previous round of the cup and new coach Luis Fernandez has instilled a steely belief into the players and the fans.
After Sunday's win, Fernandez said: 'The attitude of the players and the fans was splendid. We are improving and have to continue in this manner.'
It was a similar story with Primera Liga leaders Barcelona who host last year's finalists Real Zaragoza on Wednesday.
Barca overcame Celta Vigo 3-1 with one of their best performances in recent games, though they remain well below the form that took them to back-to-back league titles.
'We were much better. We were more aggressive, moved the ball around quickly and pressured our rivals in their own half,' Barca midfielder Xavi said after Sunday's game.
Zaragoza beat Barca 5-4 on aggregate at the same stage last season but have drawn their last two league games.
Getafe swept aside Valencia to make the quarter-finals for the first time in their history but already hold a psychological edge over their opponents, 2005 finalists Osasuna.
Getafe striker Daniel Guiza scored both goals in a 2-0 home win over the Navarrans in the Primera Liga on Sunday. They meet again in Madrid on Wednesday.
Second division leaders Valladolid, who have gone 16 games unbeaten in the league, will fancy their chances against an inconsistent Deportivo Coruna on Wednesday.
They travel to the north-west having already knocked out Primera Liga Villarreal and Gimnastic.
The return legs are scheduled to be played on Feb. 28.