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UEFA Champions League

  • 27 April 2011
  • • 19:45
  • • Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid
  • Referee: W. Stark
  • • Attendance: 71567
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Real Madrid – Barcelona Preview: Chance for Pep Guardiola's side to exact revenge for Copa del Rey loss in Champions League semi-final

Real Madrid – Barcelona Preview: Chance for Pep Guardiola's side to exact revenge for Copa del Rey loss in Champions League semi-final

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The momentum is with the hosts approaching the third of a series of four Clasico encounters, with Jose Mourinho's men beating their eternal rivals in cup competition just last week



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PROBABLE LINE-UPS
Real Madrid (4-2-3-1):
Casillas; Arbeloa, Ramos, Albiol, Marcelo; Pepe, Alonso; Ronaldo, Ozil, Di Maria; Adebayor


After rotating his side to great effect at the weekend against Valencia, Jose Mourinho will stick largely by the players who provided so much success in the Copa del Rey final. In comparison to that encounter, Raul Albiol can feature and will therefore start in the heart of the defence, while Sami Khedira is injured.

Ricardo Carvalho is banned.

Barcelona (4-3-3):
Valdes; Alves, Pique, Puyol, Maxwell; Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta; Pedro, Messi, Villa

Barcelona potentially have real issues in a defence, where Maxwell and Gabriel Milito both picked up problems at the weekend. Both are doubts, and Carles Puyol isn’t certain to start either.

Maxwell’s doubtful status is particularly worrisome as Eric Abidal and Adriano – two other potential left-backs – are already ruled out along with Bojan Krkic.


DID YOU KNOW?

  • Real Madrid have twice beaten Barcelona at the semi-final stage en route to lifting the European Cup, in 1960 and 2002.
  • Madrid, who have won the competition nine times, are aiming to reach a 13th European Cup final in what is a record 22nd semi-final appearance.
  • In 211 previous meetins between the sides, Madrid hold the upper hand with 86 wins compared to Barcelona's 82. On 43 occasions the fixture has ended level.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo headed a famous winner when the club’s met in the Copa del Rey final in Valencia one week ago. That match required extra-time to separate the sides, with the decisive goal coming in the 103rd minute.
  • Ronaldo's goal on matchday 10 was Madrid's 900th in UEFA competition, making them the first team to reach that milestone.
  • Wednesday's fixture will mark the 51-year anniversary of Madrid's 3-1 win at Barcelona in the second leg of their 1959-60 European Cup semi-final. That success, ensured a 6-2 aggregate win for the capital club, who went on to lift the trophy by beating Eintracht Frankfurt 7-3 at Glasgow's Hampden Park.
  • The following season, this time in the first round, Barcelona caused something of a stir by eliminating the previously invincible Madrid. A 2-2 first leg draw was followed by a 2-1 win in the second match.
  • When the clubs last met in the semi-finals, Real Madrid eliminated Barcelona 3-1 on aggregate before going on to beat Bayer Leverkusen in the final, which was again at Hampden Park.
  • Barcelona don't have a great semi-final record, having won five and lost six of their previous 11 visits to this stage.
  • Pep Guardiola’s side have only won two of their five away matches in the competition, but Real Madrid thus far have a flawless home record.
  • Lionel Messi's goal in the second leg against Shakhtar Donetsk was Barcelona's 300th in the UEFA Champions League.
  • Messi, who has a record 50 goals for the season, is the competition's leading scorer with nine goals. Boasting 26 shots on target, he also leads that category.
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Players to watch

Cristiano Ronaldo

Position: Attacker

Games: 4

  • 3
  • 0
  • 0
The Portuguese international hadn’t scored at all against Barcelona before breaking his duck from the penalty spot in the recent league encounter. In the Copa del Rey final, he showed he was well and truly over any jinx by rising powerfully to head the winning goal. Chances are likely to be few on Wednesday, and he will be expected to take any that come his way.

L. Messi

Position: Attacker

Games: 4

  • 4
  • 0
  • 0
The Argentine is regarded as the world’s greatest footballer at present, and on Sunday he bettered Ferenc Puskas’ long standing record of goals in a season for a Spanish club. Moreover, he is a player that Real Madrid know well as the diminutive attacker has already scored more goals at the Bernabeu that any other Barcelona player in history – his tally stands at four.

Editor's Prediction

Barcelona may be widely regarded as the better side, but the momentum has shifted in the Clasico rivalry and for the moment it’s Real Madrid who hold the upper hand. Another tight match is in store, with nothing separating the teams over 90 minutes in their previous meetings. Jose Mourinho will be particularly keen to keep things tight and avoid the concession of an away goal, so expect a low scoring draw.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Real Madrid

Barcelona

Wins
3
0
2
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Real Madrid Club de Fútbol RMA
Real Madrid Club de Fútbol Real Madrid
Draw
FC Barcelona FCB
FC Barcelona Barcelona
68%
27%

Top 3 Predictions

Real Madrid Club de Fútbol RMA
9 - 0
FC Barcelona FCB
Real Madrid Club de Fútbol RMA
2 - 0
FC Barcelona FCB
Real Madrid Club de Fútbol RMA
4 - 0
FC Barcelona FCB

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