Article written

  • on 18.01.2012
  • at 02:03 PM
  • by KT

Real Madrid v Barcelona preview (Copa del Rey)

The Bernabeu will play host to the first El Clasico of 2012 tonight as Real Madrid take on their rivals Barcelona in the Copa del Rey.

Football’s two most talented sides on the planet will clash once again in a tie that has intensified even more since Jose Mourinho arrived in the Spanish capital to try and knock Barcelona from their perch as the best club side in Europe.

Since the self proclaimed Special One arrived in Spain, Barcelona have picked up both the La Liga title as well as the Champions League trophy – steamrolling everyone who would dare to stand in their way.

Real Madrid did win one over their rivals in last season’s Cop del Rey final, with Cristiano Ronaldo netting the winner in extra time. That said, this was the only time Los Galacticos have managed to get one over Pep Guardiola’s men since 2008.

In their recent clashes we’ve seen everything from goals, diving, fighting and even a cheeky eye poke from the Portuguese gaffer. Real Madrid come into this game sitting pretty at the top of La Liga; currently finding themselves five points clear of Barca.

Whatever happens this time, as always, we are guaranteed a thrilling game of football nonetheless!

Real Madrid v Barcelona – Team News

The home side have named Angel Di Maria in their squad, but is 50/50 to play having been struggling with a thigh problem in recent weeks. Mourinho will be without defender Alvaro Arbeloa (suspension), so Sergio Ramos may be forced to move to right-back, a position he is well-accustomed to of course. Sami Khedira will be missing (ankle) but Pepe is expected to play, despite struggling with a thigh strain.

Barcelona will have to make do without attacking midfielder Pedro (hamstring) along with David Villa and Ibrahim Affellay who are also sidelined with injuries. Seydou Keita will also be missing after joining the Mali squad for the African Cup of Nations. Guardiola has also been quoted as saying Jose Pinto will play in goal for all Barca’s Copa del Rey matches this season

Real Madrid v Barcelona – Probable Line-ups

Real Madrid (4-2-3-1): Casillas | Ramos, Pepe, Coentrão, Marcelo | Alonso, Diarra | Ronaldo, Ozil, Callejon | Benzema

Barcelona (4-3-3): Pinto | Alves, Puyol, Pique, Abidal | Xavi, Busquests, Iniesta | Messi, Fabregas, Sanchez

Real Madrid v Barcelona – Match Odds

Real Madrid v Barcelona – Football Tips

Pep Guardiola will be without a number of players for this tie but his side have had the upper hand over their rivals in recent times. Fabregas will likely lead the line once again for Barcelona (13/8 – Betfred), with Sanchez and Messi playing just off, and while this is a strong attacking line-up they may well struggle with Real Madrid’s firepower at the other end.

Real Madrid (9/5 – Ladbrokes) come into this game in great form, leading Barcelona in La Liga by 5 points and they will be keen to avoid back-to-back El Clasico home defeats. We fancy them to sneak the game on the night by a single goal.

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