Real Madrid vs Barcelona Preview
Watch Real madrid vs Barcelona preview on UKsports. As the Copa Del Ray competition match is about ot held tomorrow, this gives the semi finals first leg match between Real Madrid vs Barcelona takes pace at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.
It just doesn’t get any bigger than this in Spanish football. El Clasicos have rarely been anything short of a spectacle
Los Blancos defeated city rivals Atletico Madrid 3-1 in the last eight, while Xavi’s side needed just the one goal to eliminate Real Sociedad.
Real Madrid’s trophy cabinet is itching to welcome another Copa del Rey crown, which rather incredibly has not been won by Los Blancos since the 2013-14 campaign.
Cacereno and Villarreal both fell to the power of Real Madrid before a stern test versus Atletico awaited in the quarter-finals, where Alvaro Morata would return to haunt his old club, but Rodrygo forced extra time before Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior saved Los Blancos’ bacon.
Barcelona’s defeat to Almeria means that there is still a glimpse of hope for Real Madrid, whose five-game winning run in all tournaments was brought to an end on Saturday evening, and a first Copa del Rey semi-final since the 2018-19 campaign.
El Clasico the Rivalry between the clubs
Confidence could be on the lower side in the Barca camp right now but form usually goes out the window when you’re squaring off against your rivals. However, Robert Lewandowski’s absence due to a hamstring injury is a massive blow for the Catalans.
With one avenue to success in the Europa League now closed off courtesy of Manchester United, Barcelona’s need for pride in the Spanish top flight has become ever more clear, so it was no surprise to see Xavi overcome with fury following Sunday’s defeat to Almeria.
Luis Suarez was one of the architects behind Barcelona’s downfall not La Blaugrana’s former Uruguayan luminary, though as the Colombia international set up El Bilal Toure for the game’s only goal in the 24th minute of the match, preventing Xavi’s side from going 10 points clear at the top.
One nil was also the scoreline when Barcelona defeated 10-man Real Sociedad in the Copa del Rey quarters Ousmane Dembele’s effort proved decisive that day – and Xavi’s side have also avoided giant killings against Intercity and Ceuta to progress to the semi-finals for the 11th time in 13 seasons.
Thursday’s first leg will mark the 252nd competitive Clasico between Real Madrid and Barcelona, the latter of whom won 3-1 in January’s Supercopa de Espana final, but Los Blancos prevailed by the same score at the Bernabeu back in October, and the odds are stacked heavily in their favour to glean a first-leg advantage here.
During their quarter-final win over Atletico in January, Real Madrid lost Ferland Mendy to a thigh injury which is yet to heal, and he has since been joined in the treatment room by Rodrygo and David Alaba, who were casualties of their Champions League last-16 first leg win over Liverpool.
Rodrygo has made a rapid return to training and could make himself available, but Alaba is sure to miss out, while Luka Modric will serve a suspension against Real Betis this weekend but is fine to line up here.
Now fully recovered from about of flu, Aurelien Tchouameni could freshen up the Blancos midfield alongside Modric who was only a substitute against Atletico at the weekend which could push Federico Valverde further forward in place of Marco Asensio.
As mentioned, Barcelona have suffered an untimely injury blow with Lewandowski, who sustained a hamstring injury during the weekend’s defeat to Almeria. The Catalans have not placed a timeframe on his recovery, but he is sure to watch this one from the sidelines.
Ousmane Dembele and Pedri are also out of contention with their own thigh problems, but on a brighter note, Xavi is hopeful that Ansu Fati’s bruised knee will heal in time for the first leg.
The 20-year-old is one option to deputise for Lewandowski through the middle, but Ferran Torres should get the nod as the number nine, allowing Raphinha to return out wide after his peculiar post-Manchester United injury – damaging his foot by kicking a fridge out of anger following his substitution.
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