Real Madrid v Barcelona: Preview, Team News, Predicted XI | Copa del Rey 2018-19
This will be the first of the two El Classicos scheduled to take place this week, with Real Madrid once again hosting their rivals over the weekend.
Los Blancos hold a slender advantage over their rivals after Lucas Vazquez scored at the Camp Nou to give a vital away goal for Real Madrid. Santiago Solari and his men will be looking to win, especially given the fact they shared the spoils away from home while having created the better chances.
The Los Blancos have won the competition just twice since the 1994 but both of their victories have come since 2010. Real Madrid remain the last team to win the Copa del Rey before the Blaugrana's four-year stronghold on the trophy.
Barcelona will be buoyed by the return of Lionel Messi to the starting lineup after the talismanic Argentine came from the bench last time around. Ernesto Valverde and his men will be looking to be the first club to win 5 straight Copa Del Reys, as they are now on par with Real Madrid (1905-1908) and Athletic Bilbao (1930-1933) for record consecutive cup triumphs.
Here's your team news and predicted XI for the high-voltage clash.
Real MadridRamos will return to the setup
Real Madrid have no fresh injuries to worry about, however, Marcus Llorente and Isco are out. Sergio Ramos is all set to be back in action after missing their last match.
BarcelonaBarcelona will be boosted with Messi's presence in the XI
Barcelona will be without Brazilian midfielder Arthur Melo while Samuel Umtiti, after having returned against Sevilla, is expected to make bench, at least. Lionel Messi will back in the starting line-up for the Blaugrana.
Real Madrid (4-3-3): Navas; Reguilon, Varane, Ramos, Carvajal; Casemiro, Modric, Kroos; Vinicius, Benzema, Vazquez
Barcelona (4-3-3): Ter Stegen; Alba, Lenglet, Pique, Semedo; Busquets, Rakitic, Alena; Dembele, Suarez, Messi