The momentum is with Real Madrid approaching the third of a series of four Clasico encounters, with Jose Mourinho's men beating Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final last week
|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.
Valdes; Alves, Pique, Puyol, Milito; Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta; Pedro, Messi, Villa
Maxwell’s exclusion is particularly worrisome as Eric Abidal and Adriano – two other potential left-backs – are both 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.