Copa del Rey Preview: Barcelona - Real Madrid
Jose Mourinho's men attempt to overcome a 2-1 deficit against the Catalan giants in the second leg of the sides' quarter-final clash at Camp Nou on Wednesday
By Martin Macdonald
Alves, Pique, Puyol, Abidal
Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta
Messi, Cesc, Sanchez
Arbeloa, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo
Diarra, Xabi Alonso, Coentrao
Higuain, Benzema, Ronaldo
Barcelona will be without Seydou Keita, who is away on African Cup of Nations duty with Mali. Pep Guardiola's side also have three players who have long-term injuries; Ibrahim Afellay and Andreu Fontas are both out with ligament injuries, while David Villa is sidelined for the foreseeable future with a broken leg.
Pedro returned from injury to feature in the 4-1 victory over Malaga at the weekend, but it is unlikely the Spaniard will oust Cesc Fabregas, Lionel Messi, or Alexis Sanchez from Guardiola's preferred front three.
Jose Mourinho's visitors go into the match with a 2-1 deficit from the first leg but the Real Madrid coach could opt for the same formation, with three midfielders and three attackers, albeit with a more positive gameplan than in the first match.
Pepe was left out of the squad for the victory over Athletic Bilbao because of a suspected calf injury and did not train on Monday so it is unlikely that the Portugal international will be fit. There are suspicions that Mourinho may be removing the defender from the limelight for a short period, after the outcry against his cynical stamp on Messi in Wednesday's first leg.
Lassana Diarra and Esteban Granero did not train on Monday either, but it is likely the former will be fit enough to come into the three-man midfield. Sergio Ramos also missed the session, but this was due to personal reasons and he is expected to play. Sami Khedira is unavailable, though, after being ruled out for a month with an ankle injury.
||DID YOU KNOW?|
Barcelona go into the match with a 2-1 advantage over Real Madrid from the first leg. Carles Puyol and Eric Abidal scored to cancel out Cristiano Ronaldo's early strike and seal the win at the Santiago Bernabeu last Wednesday.
- Barcelona maestro Xavi will equal Joan Segarra's record of 31 Clasico appearances for the Catalan side if he plays in this match.
- Lionel Messi equalled Cesar's record for the most league goals scored in the first half of a season for Barca at the weekend. The Argentine netted a hat-trick to take his tally so far to 22 goals in La Liga.
- Cristiano Ronaldo is currently one goal ahead of Lionel Messi in the race for Pichichi award in La Liga.
- Iker Casillas made his 600th appearance for Los Blancos in the 4-1 weekend win over Athletic Bilbao.
- This is the 10th time that Barcelona have faced Real Madrid in just over a year.
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Top 3 Predictions
FC Barcelona 3-1 Real Madrid CF
- 15.17 %
FC Barcelona 1-3 Real Madrid CF
- 11.32 %
FC Barcelona 2-0 Real Madrid CF
- 10.42 %
|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|
|Spain - Copa del Rey (ESPC)||Jan 30, 2013||Real Madrid CF 1 - FC Barcelona 1|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Oct 7, 2012||FC Barcelona 2 - Real Madrid CF 2|
|Dec 6, 2013||F.C. Cartagena 1 - FC Barcelona 4||ESPC|
|Dec 1, 2013||Athletic Bilbao 1 - FC Barcelona 0||LIGA|
|Nov 26, 2013||Ajax 2 - FC Barcelona 1||UCL|
|Nov 23, 2013||FC Barcelona 4 - Granada 0||LIGA|
|Nov 10, 2013||Betis 1 - FC Barcelona 4||LIGA|
|13||José Pinto Colorado||Goalkeeper|
|8||Andrés Iniesta Luján||Midfielder|
|12||Jonathan Dos Santos||Midfielder|
After recovering from a hamstring injury earlier in the season, Sanchez has gradually became a key member of Guardiola's side. His pace and direct running gives the team an extra dimension, and he has chipped in with his fair share of goals, too.
Ronaldo scored an excellent goal in the first leg but then his performance waned as the match progressed. The Portuguese hitman will need to be on-song if Madrid are to get anything out of this match, and prove his worth to sections of his own fans that have opted to jeer him in recent weeks.
The fifth Clasico in all competitions this season, and the tie is in the hands of Barcelona. Pep Guardiola's men hold a 2-1 advantage over Real Madrid thanks to the vital win at Santiago Bernabeu last week and it will take a momentous effort from Jose Mourinho's men to overcome the deficit.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed