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Copa del Rey

  • January 18, 2012
  • • 21:00
  • • Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid
  • Referee: César Muñiz Fernández
  • • Attendance: 80000
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Copa del Rey Preview: Real Madrid - Barcelona

Jose Mourinho will be hoping to draw first blood in the first leg of the Copa del Rey quarter-final tie versus their Catalan rivals at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday


PROBABLE LINE-UPS


REAL MADRID



Casillas
Coentrao, Ramos, Pepe, Marcelo
Xabi Alonso, Diarra
Callejon, Ozil, Ronaldo
Benzema

  BARCELONA

 
Pinto
Alves, Puyol, Pique, Abidal
Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta
Messi, Cesc, Sanchez



Jose Mourinho will be without the suspended Alvaro Arbeloa who failed in his attempt to get his one-match ban overturned. Fabio Coentrao is expected to deputise at right-back. Pepe is a doubt with a thigh strain although the Portuguese defender is expected to pass a late fitness test.

Sami Khedira is definitely ruled out of the game after spraining his ankle last week against Malaga so Lassana Diarra is in line to keep his place in the Madrid starting line-up.

Jose Callejon should retain his place in the first XI due to Angel di Maria picking up a fresh injury in training.

Barcelona will be without Seydou Keita, who is away at the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations while Andreu Fontas looks unlikely to appear again this season after picking up a serious knee injury in the Copa del Rey win over Osasuna last week.

Pedro also picked up a knock in the game and appears to have been ruled out while Pep Guardiola will be without David Villa and Ibrahim Afellay who have long-term injuries.

Dani Alves looks set to return to the starting line-up while Cesc Fabregas is expected to continue his role upfront alongside Lionel Messi and Alexis Sanchez. Jose Pinto will start the game in goal, with the experienced goalkeeper continuing his run in the domestic cup.


DID YOU KNOW?
  • Real Madrid have won only one of their previous 12 meetings with their Catalan rivals (losing eight and drawing the other three).

  • In last month's defeat to Pep Guardiola's men, Karim Benzema scored the quickest goal in Clasico history, finding the back of the net after only 23 seconds.
  • Madrid are the reigning Copa del Rey champions after beating Barcelona 1-0 at Mestalla in last season's final courtesy of Cristiano Ronaldo's extra-time winner.
  • Barcelona came from a goal down to defeat Madrid 3-1 in La Liga last month with Alexis Sanchez, Xavi and Cesc Fabregas on the scoresheet.
  • The victory was the first time in six games where Lionel Messi had not netted at the Santiago Bernabeu.
  • The game between the two great rivals will represent the ninth Clasico in just over a year.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
1Iker CasillasGoalkeeper
4Sergio RamosDefender
3PepeDefender
5Fabio CoentraoDefender
2Ricardo CarvalhoDefender
6Lassana DiarraMidfielder
14Xabi AlonsoMidfielder
4Hamit AltıntopMidfielder
7C. RonaldoStriker
9Karim BenzemaStriker
9Gonzalo HiguaínStriker
1AdànGoalkeeper
12MarceloDefender
33Raúl Albiol Defender
11Mesut ÖzilMidfielder
25Esteban GraneroMidfielder
7José Callejón Striker
8KakáMidfielder
13José Pinto ColoradoGoalkeeper
22Daniel AlvesDefender
3PiquéDefender
5Carles PuyolDefender
22Éric AbidalDefender
8Andrés Iniesta LujánMidfielder
16BusquetsMidfielder
6XaviMidfielder
4Cesc FàbregasMidfielder
10MessiStriker
9Alexis SánchezStriker
12Víctor ValdésGoalkeeper
21AdrianoDefender
32Jonathan Dos SantosMidfielder
14Javier MascheranoMidfielder
24Sergi RobertoMidfielder
6Thiago AlcántaraMidfielder
23CuencaStriker
Players to Watch
C. Ronaldo
C. Ronaldo
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 7
Games Goals YC RC
6 3 2 0
After being criticised for his performance in last month's Clasico, even more pressure will be on the Portuguese attacker to show he can perform against the very best. If the former Manchester United man can step up his game on Wednesday, Barcelona's defence could be in for a rocking evening.
Alexis Sánchez
Alexis Sánchez
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 9
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
After some injury problems, the Chilean looks to have finally found his feet at Camp Nou. A goal against Madrid in December would have endeared him to the Barcelona faithful and a stellar performance against Betis at the weekend will surely mean the former Udinese man will head into the latest installment of Clasico brimming with confidence.
Prediction
I'm going to stick my neck out and predict a 2-1 victory for Real Madrid. Barcelona certainly have had the upper hand in this fixture recently yet expect Jose Mourinho's men to be desperate to avenge last month's defeat at home to the Catalans. However, it will be a close call and I'm sure all will be left to play for going into next week's second-leg.
Editor's Prediction

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