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Fabiano stokes the fire

MADRID, January 24 – Brazilian international forward Luis Fabiano warned Real Madrid that Sevilla are psyched up for Wednesday's Kings Cup semi-final first leg as they look to reach the final and retain the trophy.

Fabiano scored a hat-trick in Sevilla’s 4-1 home win over Levante on Saturday and now the cup holders have Madrid in their sights.

"Every game is a final now and we have to continue playing like this," said Fabiano.

"It will be a great game against Real (Madrid) and we have to go into the match to get a victory against them and try to go on to retain the cup.

"They are a great team but we can beat them. We want another title and to leave Madrid empty-handed."

Madrid, who defeated Real Mallorca 1-0 at home on Sunday, have a terrible record in the Kings Cup with their last success way back in 1993 while Sevilla lifted the trophy in 2007 and 2010.

Sevilla coach Gregorio Manzano was delighted with the comfortable win over Levante and said his side could cause Real problems.

"Things turned out how we wanted and it was a relatively comfortable win," said Manzano.

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"We have started the second half of the season on the right foot and have to push on now.

"We have to try and recover this defensive intensity because, with the firepower we have, we are sure to be successful if we defend well.

"In the last seven years Sevilla have reached five (Kings Cup) semi-finals and we will try to win this one and the cup.

"Real are trying to win this competition having not done so for many years and we want to be there (in the final) again. We want to try and take a good result to Madrid (for the second leg).

"We have 180 minutes and we will fight to reach the final. We are talking about one of the best teams in Europe and we need to do everything marvellously."

Sevilla lost 1-0 at Real in the league and lie 22 points behind their opponents in the standings.

However, Manzano is not reading too much into the statistics.

"We are below them in the league by so much because they are more consistent," said Manzano.

"However, both sides respect each other and we can surprise Real Madrid in a knockout match.

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"It is not a league match and Sevilla are a good knockout side. We want to reach the final. It is not just about beating Real Madrid. We want to beat any rival just as much."

The winner of the Madrid-Sevilla semi-final will face Barcelona or Almeria, who face off on Wednesday in the first leg at Camp Nou, in the final at Valencia’s Mestalla Stadium.

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