Following a one-all draw in the first leg of the Copa Del Rey Semis, Real Madrid will now host Barcelona in the second leg of the semi-final at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium in Madrid on Wednesday. In the reverse fixture which was held at the Camp Nou stadium, Lucas Vazquez scored the opener in the sixth-minute following which Malcolm found the back of the net to equalise for the Catalan club. Also Read - Sevilla 0-2 Barcelona: Lionel Messi Scores as Catalans Edge Past Real Madrid to No 2 Spot
Pressure is now mounting on the defending European champions Real Madrid, who recently suffered a 2-1 shock defeat at home to minnows Girona and scrambled a late victory against Levante on Sunday in a match which drew much controversy. The ‘Los Blancos’ have won this competition just once since 1993, and a win against Barcelona could potentially change their fortunes for the season to come. The Santiago Solari-led could still have a positive season if they go on to clinch the Copa Del Rey. They are also still in contention in the Champions League. Also Read - Not Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo: Zlatan Ibrahimovic Picks His Football G.O.A.T
Barcelona are reaping the benefits of an underperforming Real Madrid in the league as they lead the table with a comfortable distance but Valverde and his men will aim to do a double in Spain by retaining the domestic cup title again this season – they have lifted the Copa Del Rey in each of the last four campaigns. Also Read - Need to Win Trophies Before I Can be Among Elite Level of Lionel Messi And Cristiano Ronaldo: Kylian Mbappe
Lionel Messi and his team will head into this crucial tie at the wake of an impressive 4-2 victory over top-four rival Sevilla in the weekend. This match will also mark Valverde’s 100th match as Barca coach and will be eying the fourth trophy under his regime.
Head to head:
The fixture will mark the 240th El Clasico encounter. Real Madrid leads the head-to-head record with 95 wins to Barcelona’s 93. The remainder of 51 matches have ended in draws. The first leg of the fixture ended in a 1-1 draw and prior to that Madrid took on Barca in this competition in the final of the 2013-14 season and lifted the cup with a 2-1 victory.
Key Players: Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Luis Suarez (Barcelona), Gareth Bale – could start from the bench- (Real Madrid), Luka Modric (Real Madrid)
Recent form (all competitions):
Real Madrid – WDWWLW
Barcelona – DDDWDW
Real Madrid possible starting lineup:
Navas; Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Reguilon; Casemiro, Kroos, Modric; Vinicius, Benzema, Lucas
Barcelona possible starting lineup:
Ter Stegen; Roberto, Pique, Lenglet, Alba; Rakitic, Vidal, Busquets; Dembele, L Suarez, Messi
Prediction: Real Madrid 1, Barcelona 2.
Match starts on 28th February at 1:30 AM in India