The never-ending battle between Barca and Real will have another chapter written tonight as the Bernabeu stadium will be the arena of yet another “El Classico”, only this time, it will part of a two-legged Copa del Rey encounter. Both Guardiola and Mourinho will have to deal with some absentees in their squads, so it will be very interesting to see how they cope with that.
Jose Mou will be forced to play Coentrao at the right back position, because David Arbeloa is suspended. Pepe is rated as “doubtful” at the moment, but he should be able to feature after taking a fitness test later today. Di Maria has been named in the squad but the Special One is not happy with his fitness levels at the moment, so expect to see the impressive Calejon continue to build up on his super league cup performances. He is currently Real’s leading goalscorer in this competition with three goals to his name thus far.
Meanwhile, Josep Guardiola will be missing the services of Seidur Keita, who is currently in Africa to participate in the AFCON cup for his country. Pedro picked up a knock last week, so he will miss this game as well. David Villa and Ibrahim Affelay remain long term injury victims.
What’s interesting about this game is that it will mark the 9th El Clasico in the last 12 months, and what’s even more intriguing is that Real have won just one of the last 12 derbies. It’s about time for them to wake up and earn a victory against their biggest rival, and what better moment and possibility than a cup game in front of their own fans.
Real Madrid v Barcelona Prediction: Barcelona are the best team in the world of football right now, no doubt. But everyone can lose a single match. The Catalans have some injury problems, while Real will be ultra motivated and would like to prove themselves, with Cristiano Ronaldo in particular, who is often criticized for failing to shine on the big stage. Motivation is crucial here and it should be on Madrid’s side.
Betting Verdict: Real Madrid to Win @ 2.60
Over 2.5 Goals @ 1.80