Real Madrid-Barcelona Preview: Los Blancos look to draw first blood in pivotal cup tie
The capital club's recent revival will be put to the test when they host the runaway Liga leaders in a much-awaited Copa del Rey semi-final first leg at the Santiago Bernabeu
By Karthick Arvinth
Arbeloa, Albiol, Varane, Marcelo
Ozil, Modric, Ronaldo
Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Alba
Xavi, Busquets, Fabregas
Pedro, Messi, Iniesta
Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho has a number of selection problems heading into Wednesday's Clasico showdown against Barcelona.
Iker Casillas (broken hand) and Pepe (ankle) are out, meaning Antonio Adan and new signing Diego Lopez battle it out in goal, while Sergio Ramos, Fabio Coentrao and Angel Di Maria all serve suspensions.
However, Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to start despite hurting his ankle in Sunday's 4-0 win over Getafe.
Gerard Pique returns from suspension for Barcelona, who have a fully-fit squad at their disposal.
Jordi Alba, Andres Iniesta and Cesc Fabregas are all likely to be recalled to the starting XI after they were rested for the weekend victory over Osasuna.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Real Madrid are on a 31-match unbeaten run at the Santiago Bernabeu in all competitions (W26, D5).
- The Castilian side have won just one of their last eight home encounters against Barcelona (W1, D2, L5).
- Cristiano Ronaldo (pictured, right) scored his 100th goal at the Bernabeu in the win over Getafe to take his overall tally for Real to 179 in 176 matches.
- Barcelona have won eight of their last nine away matches across all competitions.
- The Blaugrana ran out 4-3 aggregate winners in last season's Copa del Rey semi-final against Blancos.
- Pedro is in line to make his 200th appearance for Barca.
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Top 3 Predictions
Real Madrid 1-3 Barcelona
- 18.22 %
Real Madrid 3-1 Barcelona
- 13.04 %
Real Madrid 2-1 Barcelona
- 12.71 %
|La Liga (LIGA)||26 Oct 2013||Barcelona 2 - Real Madrid 1|
|La Liga (LIGA)||2 Mar 2013||Real Madrid 2 - Barcelona 1|
|Copa del Rey (ESPC)||26 Feb 2013||Barcelona 1 - Real Madrid 3|
|Copa del Rey (ESPC)||30 Jan 2013||Real Madrid 1 - Barcelona 1|
|La Liga (LIGA)||7 Oct 2012||Barcelona 2 - Real Madrid 2|
|30 Nov 2013||Real Madrid 4 - Valladolid 0||LIGA|
|27 Nov 2013||Real Madrid 4 - Galatasaray 1||UCL|
|23 Nov 2013||UD Almería 0 - Real Madrid 5||LIGA|
|9 Nov 2013||Real Madrid 5 - Real Sociedad 1||LIGA|
|5 Nov 2013||Juventus 2 - Real Madrid 2||UCL|
|25||Diego López Rodríguez||Goalkeeper|
|13||José Pinto Colorado||Goalkeeper|
|8||Andrés Iniesta Luján||Midfielder|
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed