Real Madrid-Barcelona Preview: Blaugrana out to avenge Copa exit
The Catalan giants will be itching for payback at Santiago Bernabeu after getting dismantled by Jose Mourinho's side in Tuesday's cup semi-final second leg at Camp Nou
By Karthick Arvinth
Marcelo, Luka Modric, Kaka and Karim Benzema could all feature after missing out in the 3-1 Copa del Rey win at Camp Nou on Tuesday.
Defender Sergio Ramos returns after serving a one-match ban, but winger Angel Di Maria is ineligible after his red card against Deportivo La Coruna.
Barcelona forward Lionel Messi is expected to start despite missing training with a fever on Wednesday.
Defender Adriano (hamstring) is available while midfielder Alex Song (knee) is a minor doubt.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Real Madrid have won 10 of their last 11 home matches in La Liga and are unbeaten in their last 24.
- Los Blancos' 3-1 win over Barcelona on Tuesday was their biggest victory at Camp Nou since a 5-1 success in January 1963.
- Madrid have netted 101 goals in 42 matches across all competitions this season (2.4 goals per game).
- Barcelona have won just three of their last seven matches in all competitions (W3, D2, L2).
- The Blaugrana have recorded only one victory in their last seven encounters against Madrid (W1, D3, L3).
- Lionel Messi (pictured, right) has scored in a record 15 successive Liga matches.
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Top 3 Predictions
Real Madrid CF 2-1 FC Barcelona
- 14.19 %
Real Madrid CF 1-3 FC Barcelona
- 10.13 %
Real Madrid CF 3-1 FC Barcelona
- 8.03 %
|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|
|Real Madrid CF|
|Mar 2, 2014||Atletico Madrid 2 - Real Madrid CF 2||LIGA|
|Feb 26, 2014||Schalke 04 1 - Real Madrid CF 6||UCL|
|Feb 22, 2014||Real Madrid CF 3 - Elche 0||LIGA|
|Feb 16, 2014||Getafe 0 - Real Madrid CF 3||LIGA|
|Feb 11, 2014||Atletico Madrid 0 - Real Madrid CF 2||ESPC|
|25||Diego López Rodríguez||Goalkeeper|
|8||Andrés Iniesta Luján||Midfielder|
|13||José Pinto Colorado||Goalkeeper|
The Portugal star was at his devastating best in midweek as he made short work of Barcelona's high defensive line with a virtuoso display of counter-attacking football. Ronaldo will look to extend his excellent run of form against Barcelona, against whom he has now scored nine times in his last eight appearances.
Barcelona's leading scorer was again a peripheral figure in Tuesday's Clasico after a similarly ineffectual display in the Champions League loss at AC Milan. With Barca appearing uncharacteristically jaded and devoid of inspiration, they will look to Messi to lead a revival in fortunes ahead of the all-important return leg against Milan.
Real Madrid's confidence will be sky-high after dispatching their arch-rivals with ease in the Copa del Rey, but this Liga clash is merely a distraction before the serious business of Tuesday's visit to Old Trafford. A blistering start to the season under Tito Vilanova promised so much for Barcelona, but they will need to buck up their ideas quickly to prevent their campaign from petering out.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed