Barcelona vs Real Madrid Preview
It's the 253rd official match between Spain's two giants with the second leg of the Copa del Rey set to take place at the Camp Nou following on from Barcelona's 1-0 win at the Santiago Bernabeu.
The victory for the Catalan giants last time saw Real Madrid lose for the first time at home in 10 games and further established Xavi’s men as the superior side between these two right now. In fact, Barcelona are leading this two-legged tie and sit above their El Clasico rivals by nine points in La Liga.
Xavi's side may have oddly only seen 35% of the ball away in Madrid for the first leg, but Eder Militao's own goal was the difference in the end as Real had no shots on target throughout the entire 90 minutes.
Barcelona have since gone on to beat Valencia 1-0 after a goal from Raphina and also edge past Athletic Club 1-0 away from home where Raphina scored the game's only goal once again.
As for Real, they drew 0-0 with Real Betis in the game following the loss to Barcelona, although goals from Vinicus Junior, Militao and Marco Asensio sealed a 3-1 win against Espanyol before Karim Benzema’s goal against Liverpool saw them ease through the Champions League once again.
Carlo Ancelotti’s men will be hoping for another result like the one they saw earlier in the league campaign, where Benzema, Federico Valverde and Rodrygo all scored a goal each in a 3-1 win. Ferran Torres scored for Barcelona late on that day.
Nevertheless, this was back in October and the Catalan side have since gone on to lose to only Almeria in the league and Manchester United in the Europa League alongside more dropped points in the Champions League.
Barcelona have still managed to lose two of those games in the past few weeks, so Real will have hopes of getting a victory here.
Real Madrid Team News
David Alaba is still on the sidelines and won't play for a few more weeks with his hamstring issue. Ferland Mendy will likely come into the side as a result, especially after he missed the last outing against Real Madrid. Nacho Fernandez should now come into the team too with Valverde. Benzema will be fit despite being forced off in the midweek clash with Liverpool after an injury following his goal.
Barcelona Team News
Ousmane Dembele will miss this game after it seemed he was going to be fit in time for the game but will now miss out. Pedri was also expected to return for this one but he will miss out here with a hamstring issue of his own. Ronald Araujo is now back in the line after his suspension ended against Athletic Bilbao. Alejandro Balde should get the nod over Jordi Alba at left-back, as this is a cup game and Gavi is likely to be pushed further and play alongside Raphinha and Robert Lewandowski in Barcelona's forward line.