Real vs Barca: Team news & likely lineup for Copa del Rey

Copa Del Rey By: Ikponmwosa Umweni | 26/02/2019

Real Madrid and Barcelona go head to head in the first of two Clasico clashes this week, with the La Liga rivals battling for a place in the Copa del Rey final on Wednesday night at Santigo Bernabeu. 

Los Blancos hold the advantage going into the second leg following a 1-1 draw at Camp Nou last time around, meaning that away goal will send European holders through if they can earn a stalemate back at the Spanish capital.

Unfortunately for Santiago Solari's side will Lionel Messi from the start after rested until the first leg with Ernesto Valverde's men seek to turn the tie in their favour in Madrid.

Team News

Real Madrid will heave a sigh of relief as their captain Sergio Ramos would be back in action after serving a red card suspension against Levante but Isco and Marcelo missed out against Levante with injuries but the Brazillian is expected to be fit.

Marcos Llorente is still struggling to overcome a muscular problem, but there will be a start between the sticks for Keylor Navas, who is the team's Copa del Rey goalkeeper.

As for Barca, Rafinha, Jasper Cillessen, Arthur and Thomas Vermaelen are still on the sidelines but Marc-Andre ter Stegen will remain in goal

Samuel Umtiti made his return from injury against Sevilla, but it seems likely that Clement Lenglet will come back into the team for this match, with Sergi Roberto also potentially replacing Nelson Semedo at right-back.

Further forward, Carles Alena is battling Arturo Vidal for the midfield spot alongside Sergio Busquets and Ivan Rakitic, while Ousmane Dembele should edge out Philippe Coutinho to start alongside Messi and Luis Suarez in the final third of the field.

Head to Head

Barcelona hold the bragging rights over their old foe this season, as a  Luis Suarez hat-trick helped the Catalan giants on their way to a fine 5-1 win.

However,  La Liga holder have been on the other side of a crushing defeat against their rivals in recent years, with Los Blancos winning the previous two-legged Super Cup encounter 5-1.

Real Madrid still boasts the most Clasico victories, with 95 to Barcelona's 93 out of their 238 competitive meetings. 

Recent Form

Though form is often irrelevant in classic clashes such as these, six wins out their last seven successive league games for Real Madrid has kept their slim title hopes alive as they look to keep up the pressure on Barcelona at the top of the table. 

A 3-1 away win to rivals Atletico Madrid being the pick of the bunch, with Juventus' struggle in Madrid exemplifying the difficulty Atletico represent at home. 

It has been a stop-start few weeks for Barca. Their 4-2 win away to Sevilla followed a disappointing 0-0 draw in France against a plucky Lyon side. 10-man Athletic Bilbao provided a stern test for the Catalan side too, where they also failed to find the net.

These struggles in front of goal do seem to be behind them however, following ​Messi's outstanding hat-trick at the weekend.

Real Madrid possible starting lineup: Navas; Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Reguilon; Casemiro, Kroos, Modric; Vinicius, Benzema, Lucas

Barcelona possible starting lineup: Ter Stegen; Roberto, Pique, Lenglet, Alba; Rakitic, Vidal, Busquets; Dembele, L Suarez, Messi

Prediction: Real Madrid 1-2 Barcelona