Barcelona worry over reality check

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The Independent Football

"We are a little worried as it is a long time since we conceded four goals," said Edmilson after the shock King's Cup first-leg loss. "We clearly have to pay more attention at the back," added Frank Rijkaard, the coach.

However, Barcelona should recover their poise tomorrow when they visit struggling Real Mallorca. Zaragoza, meanwhile, hope to produce another surprise tomorrow, they are at second-placed Valencia.

The eventual winner of the Barça-Zaragoza tie was yesterday drawn to meet Real Madrid in the two-leg semi-final. Madrid were unimpressed as this means they could have to play their great rivals twice in 14 days ahead of their Champions' League tie with Arsenal. Their vice-president Emilio Butragueño said: "The dates are awkward. We no longer have a free week to prepare for Arsenal."

Tomorrow Real travel to Celta Vigo, who won at the Bernabeu earlier this season. Real are now in better form and, said Zinedine Zidane: "If we carry on like this we are going to win something. We are like a different team."

In Italy, the leaders Juventus seek to defend their eight-point advantage at Ascoli tomorrow while second-placed Internazionale travel to Lecce. Milan, in third, host Sampdoria tonight.

The Bundesliga resumed last night after a lengthy winter break with the leaders Bayern Munich at Borussia Mönchengladbach. Second-placed Hamburg, who yesterday signed the Ajax defender Nigel de Jong, a target for several Premiership clubs, are at Nuremberg today.

The main match in France involves leaders Lyon at Monaco tomorrow. Second-placed Bordeaux, 12 points behind, host Lens.

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