Barcelona-Real Madrid Preview: Clasico rivals set for crunch Copa showdown
A pulsating encounter saw both sides draw 1-1 in the first leg of the semi-final tie, though the Blaugrana's away goal means they hold a slender advantage ahead of Tuesday night
By Karthick Arvinth
Barcelona quartet Carles Puyol, Sergio Busquets, Cesc Fabregas and Xavi are all in line to return to the starting line-up for Tuesday's clash against Real Madrid after being rested over the weekend.
Defender Adriano is a doubt with a hamstring problem, but assistant coach Jordi Roura has an otherwise clean bill of health.
Madrid welcome back Xabi Alonso (groin), Karim Benzema (knee) and Raphael Varane (muscle strain) from injury.
Sergio Ramos, Fabio Coentrao and Angel Di Maria also return after missing the first leg through suspension, while Kaka is pushing for a start after his match-winning contribution against Deportivo La Coruna on Saturday.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Barcelona are on a 22-match unbeaten run at Camp Nou in all competitions (W18, D4).
- The Catalan giants have won just one of their last six encounters against Real Madrid (W1, D3, L2).
- Lionel Messi (pictured, right) has scored a club-record 17 goals in 23 Clasico appearances.
- Real Madrid are facing Barcelona for the 224th time in all competitions. The capital club have 88 wins to Barca's 87.
- Los Blancos have only won three of their last 10 away matches across all competitions (W3, D3, L4).
- Cristiano Ronaldo has scored seven goals in his last seven matches against Barcelona.
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Top 3 Predictions
FC Barcelona 1-2 Real Madrid CF
- 22.15 %
FC Barcelona 2-1 Real Madrid CF
- 14.32 %
FC Barcelona 3-1 Real Madrid CF
- 11.25 %
|Spain - Copa del Rey (ESPC)||Apr 16, 2014||FC Barcelona 1 - Real Madrid CF 2|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Mar 23, 2014||Real Madrid CF 3 - FC Barcelona 4|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Oct 26, 2013||FC Barcelona 2 - Real Madrid CF 1|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Mar 2, 2013||Real Madrid CF 2 - FC Barcelona 1|
|Spain - Copa del Rey (ESPC)||Feb 26, 2013||FC Barcelona 1 - Real Madrid CF 3|
|Apr 20, 2014||FC Barcelona 2 - Athletic Bilbao 1||LIGA|
|Apr 16, 2014||FC Barcelona 1 - Real Madrid CF 2||ESPC|
|Apr 12, 2014||Granada 1 - FC Barcelona 0||LIGA|
|Apr 9, 2014||Atletico Madrid 1 - FC Barcelona 0||UCL|
|Apr 5, 2014||FC Barcelona 3 - Betis 1||LIGA|
|13||José Pinto Colorado||Goalkeeper|
|8||Andrés Iniesta Luján||Midfielder|
|25||Diego López Rodríguez||Goalkeeper|
|22||Ángel Di María||Midfielder|
The Argentine forward extended his scoring run in La Liga to an incredible 15 matches against Sevilla on Saturday after a strangely off-colour performance in the 2-0 defeat at AC Milan. With Barcelona's backline having failed to keep a clean sheet in their last 11 outings, Messi will need to deliver in front of goal against Real Madrid or risk elimination from the Copa del Rey.
The Portuguese superstar has been Blancos' best performer in recent encounters against Barcelona, putting to bed the myth that he does not deliver in the big games. Ronaldo will be out to produce a repeat of his performance in the Liga Clasico at Camp Nou earlier this season, in which his superb double earned Real a 2-2 draw.
Barcelona have looked laboured in recent weeks, while Madrid are in the midst of a mini-revival, but as the cliche goes, form counts for nothing on these occasions. The onus is on the visitors to attack as they look for away goals, but Barca will be right up for this in front of their own fans after their shock defeat against Milan last week.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed