Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Cup Craziness

It's time to start handing out the domestic cup hardware starting Wednesday as Spain's Copa del Rey final gets the cup final season into full swing. Spain is one of many countries where this year's cup competitions were full of surprises. Wednesday's final will see Getafe take on Valencia in Madrid. Valencia are in the midst of a miserable campaign. After finishing in the top four of La Liga in three of the last four seasons, including a title in 2004, Los Che have dropped to 16th and are fighting to avoid relegation. Getafe, currently in 12th, will look to shake off the disappointment of last week's UEFA Cup loss to Bayern Munich as they seek their first Copa Del Rey for the second straight year.

Saturday's German Cup final in Berlin will pit a pair of traditional powers, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund. Bayern will be seeking their record 14th German Cup and are in line for a Bundesliga, German Cup, UEFA Cup treble. Dortmund will be seeking their third German Cup and their first since 1989.

In other cup action:
Italy: The two-legged Coppa Italia semifinals kickoff Wednesday with Roma facing Serie B side Catania and Inter meeting Lazio. The final is May 24 in Rome.
England: Portsmouth and Cardiff City meet May 17 for the FA Cup, although the story of the tournament has been Barnsley, which knocked off Liverpool and Chelsea before falling to Cardiff in the semifinals.
Holland: Feyenoord will be at home to face Roda JC in the April 27 final.
Scotland: Division One side Queen of the South stunned Aberdeen 4-3 last Saturday to advance to their first Scottish Cup final. Queen of the South will face the winner of Sunday's semifinal between Glasgow Rangers (eyeing a European record eighth domestic treble) and St. Johnstone on May 24.

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