Barcelona v Real Madrid: Copa Del Rey preview

The Spanish giants meet at the Nou Camp in the Copa Del Rey semi-final second leg tonight, with the match all square at 1-1 after the first leg

Barcelona are twelve points clear at the top of La Liga and with the league seemingly in the bag, it can be argued that tonight's clash for a place in the final of the Copa Del Rey is more important for Real Madrid.

Jose Mourinho's side currently lie third in the table, 16 points behind their great rivals, and while a tenth European Cup is the ultimate goal this term, that is by no means guaranteed. Real travel to Old Trafford next Tuesday for the second leg of their last-16 tie against Manchester United, but with the scores level at 1-1 after the first match, there is a very real possibility that Los Merengues could be knocked out. Should Real fail to progress in the Copa Del Rey tonight they could see all their trophy hopes disappear in the matter of a week.

While Barcelona are running away with La Liga, they are struggling in the Champions League after losing 2-0 at the San Siro in the first leg of their last-16 tie against AC Milan, with former Portsmouth players Kevin-Prince Boateng and Sulley Muntari on target for the Rossoneri.

Tonight will see the mouth-watering prospect of the world's two best players, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, facing each other. Messi set the record for the most number of goals in a calendar year in 2012 with 91, beating Gerd Muller's 85 in 1972, and so far this season the Argentinian has scored 49 goals in 38 matches for Barcelona. Ronaldo has also been in fine form, with 37 goals in 38 matches for Real.

The previous four El Clasico's this season have all been close matches with not much between the two sides. The teams first met at the Camp Nou in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup on August 23, with Barcelona winning 3-2. The second leg of the Spanish Super Cup was on August 29 at the Bernabeu, with Real winning 2-1 and winning the cup on away goals. Messi and Ronaldo both scored a goal each in both legs. The first La Liga Clasico of the season was on October 7, with Messi and Ronaldo both scoring two goals as the sides played out an entertaining 2-2 draw at the Camp Nou. The first leg of this semi-final was at the Bernabeu on January 30 and finished 1-1.

Whoever fails to progress tonight will have a swift opportunity for revenge. The sides meet again on Saturday night in the league.

 

ODDS…

Barcelona to win: 7/10

Real Madrid to win: 10/3

Draw: 3/1

 

TV: Live on Sky Sports 1 at 8pm, highlights on Sky Sports 1 at 1am on Wednesday.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Giants Club: After wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, Uganda’s giants flourish once again

Uganda's giants are flourishing once again

After the wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, elephant populations are finally recovering
The London: After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

Archaeologists will recover a crucial item from the wreck of the London which could help shed more light on what happened in the vessel's final seconds
Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

The invention involves turbojets and ramjets - a type of jet engine - and a rocket motor
10 best sun creams for kids

10 best sun creams for kids

Protect delicate and sensitive skin with products specially formulated for little ones
Tate Sensorium: New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art

Tate Sensorium

New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art
Ashes 2015: Nice guy Steven Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

Nice guy Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

He was man-of-the-match in the third Test following his recall to the England side
Ashes 2015: Remember Ashton Agar? The No 11 that nearly toppled England

Remember Ashton Agar?

The No 11 that nearly toppled England
Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks