Barcelona and Real Madrid meet for the fifth time this season in the second leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final on Wednesday evening at Camp Nou.
Real Madrid’s Eder Militao, often the hero in the team’s defensive third, had an unfortunate moment during the first leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final against Barcelona. The Brazilian’s goal helped Barcelona reach this year’s final as they aim for a domestic double.
While a premature exit from Europe is a significant setback, under Xavi’s leadership, Barcelona has responded with the resilience expected of La Liga champions-in-waiting.
The Catalan giants continue asserting dominance in the league, maintaining a 12-point lead over Real Madrid. This weekend, Barcelona takes a break from the league’s intensity to fight for a place in the Copa del Rey final.
Their success in recent years is a testament to the team’s consistency and talent. Barcelona’s form in their last five games has been impressive, winning each while conceding only one goal.
Barcelona Form (All Competitions): W W W W W
Real Madrid was in ruthless form during their recent match against Real Valladolid. After Rodrygo’s early goal, Karim Benzema went on a rampage, scoring a hat-trick within seven minutes of play. Marco Asensio and Lucas Vazquez added two more goals in the second half, ending the game in a 6-0 win.
While this victory was impressive, it did little to improve Real Madrid’s chances of retaining their domestic title. The team has been inconsistent this season, and a recent two-game winless run away from home only adds to their concerns.
However, Carlo Ancelotti’s side can take comfort in their upcoming Champions League quarter-final against Chelsea, which could be the key to redeeming their season.
Real Madrid has yet to reach the Copa del Rey final since the 2013-14 season, where they defeated Barcelona in the final.
Real Madrid Form (All Competitions): D W W L W
Barcelona has four key players who missed the Elche game due to hamstring and calf injuries. Pedri, Ousmane Dembele, Frenkie de Jong, and Andreas Christensen were absent from the squad.
Unfortunately, none returned to training on Sunday, so Xavi will likely have to cope without them for the upcoming second leg.
Raphinha, on the other hand, has returned from a suspension in the top flight, but it remains to be seen if he will displace Torres or Fati.
Real Madrid is facing some injury concerns ahead of their upcoming match. Antonio Rudiger, the German centre-back, missed the last game due to knee discomfort, and his condition is being closely monitored over the next 48 hours.
Ferland Mendy will miss the game due to a new calf problem, while Mariano Diaz is doubtful due to an unspecified complaint. However, Diaz was not expected to start in any case.
Barcelona’s expected starting lineup:
Ter Stegen; Kounde, Araujo, Alonso, Balde; Kessie, Busquets, Gavi; Raphinha, Lewandowski, Fati
Real Madrid’s expected starting lineup:
Courtois; Vazquez, Militao, Nacho, Alaba; Kroos, Tchouameni, Modric; Valverde, Benzema, Vinicius Jr
Head to Head
Regarding competitive matches, Real Madrid has a slight edge over Barcelona with 101 wins to Barcelona’s 100, while 52 matches have ended in a draw.
However, Barcelona has been more successful in exhibition matches, winning 20 times compared to Real Madrid’s 4, with 10 draws.
In total matches between the two clubs, Barcelona has won 120 times, while Real Madrid has won 105, with 62 draws.
Time, Date & Venue
Date: Wednesday, April 05
Time: 07:00 pm, GMT
Venue: Spotify Camp Nou, Barcelona
Despite their commanding victory against Valladolid, Real Madrid may need help replicating their success against a formidable Barcelona team playing on their home turf.
With four matches already played between the teams this season, both managers are likely well-versed in each other’s tactics.
Nevertheless, Xavi’s Barcelona side has developed a strong defensive unit that could be a difficult obstacle for Real Madrid.