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By ESPN Staff
Jan 18, 2011

Betis fear Barcelona thrashing

Real Betis goalkeeper Casto Espinosa fears his side could be handed another spanking by Barcelona when they meet in the return leg of their Copa del Rey quarter-final clash on Wednesday.

The Primera Liga leaders ran out 5-0 winners in the opening match at Camp Nou last week, with Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi hitting a hat-trick. Messi is expected to miss the second leg through illness, but Casto has already resigned himself to the fact Segunda Division outfit Betis will go no further in the competition.

"It will be very difficult to come back and not because of the 5-0 deficit, but because our opponents never get tired of winning,'' he said. "I am sure Barca will come here to compete and not to relax. We have gone as far as we can in the cup and our goal now is to focus on the league and climb the standings there.''

Defending champions Sevilla take on Villarreal on Tuesday with the tie evenly poised at 3-3. Villarreal have had the better season to date so far in the league, sitting third in the table, seven places higher than their opponents. Midfielder Borja Valero is hoping they can reproduce that form in the cup.

"It will not be an easy match but we have options,'' he said. "We will have the crowd against us in Seville but this team can do well on any pitch as we've been finding the goal lately with ease.''

The winner of that clash will face either Atletico Madrid or Real Madrid in the last four.

Real hold a 3-1 advantage from the opening leg while Atletico's hopes of overturning their city rivals have been hit by an injury to striker Sergio Aguero, which will keep him on the sidelines for two weeks.

The other quarter-final return leg sees Almeria travel to Deportivo La Coruna on Wednesday night holding a narrow 1-0 lead from the opening leg.

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