Real Madrid welcome Barcelona in the second leg of the Copa del Rey semi final, following a closely contested 1-1 draw at the Camp Nou.
Barcelona, the competition's most successful side with 30 titles, come into the fixture full of confidence, following an inspired 4-2 away win against Sevilla in La Liga.
Los Blancos will need to improve on their slim margin of victory at the weekend, where they required a late penalty from Gareth Bale to spare their blushes away to Levante.
Where to Watch
|When is Kick Off?||27th February 2019|
|What Time is Kick Off?||20:00 (GMT)|
|Where is it Played?||Santiago Bernabéu|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||BeIN Sport|
The big news for Real Madrid is that skipper Sergio Ramos will be available for the second leg, following the one-match suspension he was awarded after picking up two yellow cards during the shock defeat to Girona. Isco's back injury that has kept him out of four games in all competitions looks to keep him sidelined him once more.
El Clasico will come too soon for Barcelona's Brazilian midfielder Arthur, who has been unavailable since early February with a hamstring injury. The long-term fitness problems persist for both Rafinha and Jasper Cillessen who will miss the clash due to their respective injuries.
|Real Madrid||Navas; Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo; Kroos, Casemiro, Modric; Bale, Benzema, Vinicius|
|Barcelona||Ter Stegen; Semedo, Pique, Umtiti, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Vidal; Messi, Suarez, Coutinho|
Head to Head Record
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, Barca 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 boast the most Clasico victories, with 95 to Barcelona's 93 out of their 238 competitive meetings.
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.
Here's how each team has fared in their last five matches:
|Levante 1-2 Real Madrid (24/02)||Sevilla 2-4 Barcelona (23/02)|
|Real Madrid 1-2 Girona (17/02)||Lyon 0-0 Barcelona (19/02)|
|Ajax 1-2 Real Madrid (13/02)||Barcelona 1-0 Valladolid (16/02)|
|Atletico Madrid 1-3 Real Madrid (09/02)||Athletic Bilbao 0-0 Barcelona (10/02)|
|Barcelona 1-1 Real Madrid (06/02)||Barcelona 1-1 Real Madrid (06/02)|
The Santiago Bernabéu is a tough place to visit for even the best of teams, with Barca certainly falling into this category. The Catalan side will understand the importance of an early goal in order to eliminate the Real's away goal advantage.
Real can feel confident however, with Ramos back from suspension and several stars rested for the majority of their win against Levante. Being able to field fresh legs in what will be a hotly contested fixture could prove a decisive advantage for Real.
Real Madrid don't have the big game goals that Cristiano Ronaldo provided time after time, something Barca, through Messi, still possess. Though Los Blancos have seriously improved in recent weeks, this game looks set to be too tough a task.
Prediction: Real Madrid 1-2 Barcelona