Barcelona host arch-rivals Real Madrid at the Camp Nou Spotify for the second leg of their Copa Del Rey semi-finals on Wednesday. The Blaugrana hold the advantage in this tie, having picked up a scruffy 1-0 win in their previous tie.
Barca have had Los Blancos’ numbers for the majority of this season. They’ve won their last three El Clasico games, including a huge 2-1 win in their last La Liga encounter in March. With the Catalonian giants only shot at a cup competition being the Copa Del Rey, they’ll be desperate to win this.
Real Madrid are 12 points behind their rivals in the La Liga race and seems unlikely to beat them in that title race. The least they can do is embarrass Barca for this title. Los Blancos have the reputation of producing impressive comeback wins in recent seasons and a 1-0 deficit isn’t as daunting to them.
In what will be the final El Clasico of the season, we can expect an end-to-end, heated battle between the two Spanish giants. With both sides going into the game in hot form, only something special can separate the winners from the losers.
Below is everything you need to know about the match.
Last 5 Games
Barcelona head into the game in considerably better form, having won their last five games in all competitions as compared to Madrid’s three wins in the same period. That includes two wins over Los Blancos in last month’s two El Clasico games.
Win: 4-0 ve Elche
Win: 2-1 vs Real Madrid
Win: 1-0 vs Athletic Club
Win: 1-0 vs Valencia
Win: 1-0 vs Real Madrid
Real Madrid: 2nd
Win: 6-0 vs Real Valladolid
Loss: 2-1 vs Barcelona
Win: 1-0 vs Liverpool
Win: 3-1 vs Espanyol
Draw: 0-0 vs Real Betis
Barcelona are set to miss some key first-team players for this derby, just as they did in their last game as well. Frenkie de Jong has failed to recover from an injury he suffered before the March international break and is out for this game.
His fellow midfielder Pedri is also injured, as is summer signing and influential defender Andreas Christensen. Barca’s injury-prone Ousmane Dembele is also out with a knock and is going to miss his third consecutive derby.
Real Madrid will be missing their regular left-back Ferland Mendy, who is out with a knee injury. However, he appears to be their only absentee for this game.
Antonio Rudiger, who missed the last game against Valladolid, was able to recover from his knock and was spotted in training before the El Clasico. So, he should be ready to play in this game and provide a boost to his side.
Barcelona: Ter Stegen, Kounde, Araujo, Alonso, Balde, Busquets, Roberto, Kessie, Gavi, Torres, Lewandowski
Real Madrid: Courtois, Carvajal, Militao, Rudiger, Alaba, Tchouameni, Valverde, Modric, Rodrygo, Vinicius Jr, Benzema
There have been 253 competitive El Clasico matches that have taken place In history. Real Madrid has a tiny advantage in this regard, having won 101 of those games against their arch-rivals – as compared to Barca’s 100 wins.
Barca won the previous game against Los Blancos in dramatic fashion on 19 March. They initially conceded in the game through an own-goal from Ronald Araujo, before Sergi Roberto equalized just before half-time.
Los Blancos appeared to have won the game with a goal from Marco Asensio late in the second half. But that was ruled out by VAR, with Frank Kessie scoring a winner in the 92nd minute to give Barcelona a huge win that helped them put one hand in the La Liga trophy.
Where the game will be decided
Barcelona and Real Madrid both boast some of the best attacking players in the world, particularly two of the very best strikers in Robert Lewandowski and Karim Benzema.
The last few El Clasico encounters have been tight affairs, which have perhaps proven that the two forwards aren’t always capable of deciding games for their teams. Like the last few games between these two sides, this match should also be decided in the midfield.
It’ll be a case of Madrid’s aggressive and proactive midfield trio of Tchouameni, Valverde, and Modric going up against Busquets, Kessie, Roberto, and Gavi – who are more about technical quality and control.
Barca will look to frustrate the visitors with their possession-heavy, passing football and look to reap all the energy from their team. Madrid, on the other hand, will look to win back possession in important areas and then send their blistering forwards through on goal in counter-attacks.
Los Blancos have to be defensively strong and keep a close eye on the likes of Lewandowski and Gavi. Vinicius and Benzema will have a lot of expectations on providing the goods in the attack. Barca, on the other hand, will look to replicate their heroics from recent meetings – controlling the game and using their fast-passing, clinical style to torment Madrid.
We back Barcelona to get the job done and move on to the Copa Del Rey final. They’re in amazing form as of late and have had their rivals’ number in recent meetings as well. Los Blancos have shown signs of vulnerabilities in recent games against Barcelona and seem to get rattled too easily.
Barca heads into this game with a decisive lead and are have the advantage as they’ve gotten Madrid chasing them. They should make full use of their advantage to get another narrow win.
Barcelona 2-1 Real Madrid
Barcelona to win: 1/5
Draw (90 mins): 12/5
Real Madrid to win: 7/2
*By Betfair At the time of writing
The action starts at 8 PM GMT at Camp Nou and the referee for the match will be Juan Martinez Munuera.