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Copa del Rey Preview: Real Madrid vs Barcelona

Posted: 17 January 2012 Time: 16:22

Jose Mourinho will be hoping to draw first blood in the first leg of the Copa del Rey quarter-final tie versus their Catalan rivals at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday.

Probable line-ups

REAL MADRID: Casillas – Coentrao, Ramos, Pepe, Marcelo – Xabi Alonso, Diarra – Callejon, Ozil, Ronaldo – Benzema

BARCELONA: Pinto – Alves, Puyol, Pique, Abidal – Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta – Messi, Cesc, Sanchez

Jose Mourinho will be without the suspended Alvaro Arbeloa who failed in his attempt to get his one-match ban overturned. Fabio Coentrao is expected to deputise at right-back. Pepe is a doubt with a thigh strain although the Portuguese defender is expected to pass a late fitness test.

Sami Khedira is definitely ruled out of the game after spraining his ankle last week against Malaga so Lassana Diarra is in line to keep his place in the Madrid starting line-up.

Jose Callejon should retain his place in the first XI due to Angel di Maria picking up a fresh injury in training.

Barcelona will be without Seydou Keita, who is away at the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations while Andreu Fontas looks unlikely to appear again this season after picking up a serious knee injury in the Copa del Rey win over Osasuna last week.

Pedro also picked up a knock in the game and appears to have been ruled out while Pep Guardiola will be without David Villa and Ibrahim Afellay who have long-term injuries.

Dani Alves looks set to return to the starting line-up while Cesc Fabregas is expected to continue his role upfront alongside Lionel Messi and Alexis Sanchez. Jose Pinto will start the game in goal, with the experienced goalkeeper continuing his run in the domestic cup.


Real Madrid have won only one of their previous 12 meetings with their Catalan rivals (losing eight and drawing the other three).

In last month's defeat to Pep Guardiola's men, Karim Benzema scored the quickest goal in Clasico history, finding the back of the net after only 23 seconds.

Madrid are the reigning Copa del Rey champions after beating Barcelona 1-0 at Mestalla in last season's final courtesy of Cristiano Ronaldo's extra-time winner.

Barcelona came from a goal down to defeat Madrid 3-1 in La Liga last month with Alexis Sanchez, Xavi and Cesc Fabregas on the scoresheet.

The victory was the first time in six games where Lionel Messi had not netted at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The game between the two great rivals will represent the ninth Clasico in just over a year.

Previous comments on this story...

posted: 04:39 pm
Barca 3-1 Madrid. I simply can't see Madrid beating Barca with Xavi, Aniesta,Besquets and MODIMO WA BOLO Messi.

It's just impossible. IMPOSSIBLE.
posted: 05:45 pm
@Mossy, it's called plagiarism and is a norm with K.O. At least this effort was put in stealing this story; at times they cook no effort is made at all and they cook stories from the figment of their imagination. The high water mark though is when they market has been players for agents or push for them to be in Pitso's XII.

Welcome to K.O were tabloiyish journalism is the order of th day.
posted: 06:12 pm
it wl take madrid 2decades to beat barca. Good people dd you remember what casilas said when eto left barca? Now s messi nd eish ngwana wa batho o tloga a tlogela bolo
posted: 06:19 pm
Madrid 2-1 Barca goal scores is casc and for madrid will be the king of Germen Ozil and their boss Ronaldo
posted: 10:07 pm
The dominance of Barca over Real equals dominance of Pirates over Sundowns.

My observation on Real is that they don't close their gaps quick enough & tend to be individualistic & not working for each other.

I also don't believe Mourihno playing Angel Di Maria on the right & Ronaldo left is effective as both players tend to cut in instead of opening the game wide.

Di Maria is a left footed player & Ronaldo strong on the right.The latter played on the right at Man United with good success.For me that's what set this teams apart.
posted: 12:50 am
Im portuguese so Mourinho and Ronaldo are definitly going to win this game with a head-trick from Ronaldo! 3-0 to Madrid!
posted: 02:12 am
Madrid is goin 2 win ths 1 wit lasana diarra and alonso as distroyas in th middle barca wont function
posted: 02:59 am
madrid my favrite team 1-0 madrid win
posted: 07:33 am
@mwandile u ryt ma friend I've seen dis thing time n again n again.theses guys just cook stories n link certain players to certain teams..mxm kickoff u cn do beta dan dis
posted: 07:36 am
In BARCELONA i beleive.
with the quality we have,there is no way Madrid can beat BARCA.
posted: 08:06 am
I think the current real madrid can beat man utd 99/100. Beat the england national team 96/100. Then when it cum to barcelona it different. Barca plays ball, u just have to wait for them to make mistake. So I hope 2nyt is de nyt. It always sad for a big team, big name coach to be always on de loosing side against the same opponent.
posted: 08:12 am

Both Ronaldo and The real special one not that Chiefs fong kong special one VV are out to prove a point.

CR7 will remind LM10 why he is a small boy.
posted: 08:13 am

People forget that fortunes turn - Real will win this one.
Swona Champ!
posted: 08:29 am
I dont like the way Barca plays, yes they win, but I enjoy football with contact, hate men rolling on the ground like gays for 90min! Real press them hard please!
Hoi Mash
posted: 08:32 am
Is this match being broadcasted?
posted: 10:04 am
i've gone through the supersport tv schedule to see which channel the game will be broadcast but cant find it anywhere......can someone help and tell me if the game is gonna be broadcast or not.
posted: 11:17 am
@TP, you utterances about Pirates' dominance over Sundowns are purely unfounded, fictional &delusional.

You must be living in cloud-cuckoo-land to confindently suggest that because you can never ever, in no way "EQUAL" the hoodooism of BARCA over REAL to that of BUCS over DOWNS, NEVER, cause that will demonstrate that you're totally clueless & imprudent about PSL football matters.

Statistics never lie & they are out there for your THOROUGH perusal, I politely suggest you start Google-ing & heavily educating yourself.

Yes, DOWNS haven't won against BUCS in the last 5 games the teams have met, but that doesn't spell total dominance as you, again, "confidently" imply.

Yes, I admit that they've been a thorny devil to us, DOWNS recently but I still insist that it cannot be "EQUALED" to that of BARCA vs REAL.

Back to the topic, BARCA will still continue to 'DUMPA' REAL, my prediction is 1-0 to BARCA.

The thing is Mourhino doesn't have the formula for the equation of "tiki-taka" machine, the variables of "tiki-taka" does not only depend on the 'CONSTANT" of mesmerising attacking carpet football, but also on their effective transition (i.e. from attacking to defending), cause BARCA players are obliged to master the secret art of snatching away the ball from their opponent quickly within the first 2,5 minutes from losing it via man marking. When that fails they have to employ zonal marking.

That's the 'Morse' complixity of "tiki-taka", which continues to Mourhino endless headaches.

With said, @TP, since you're Chiefs fan, I feel like you're desperately trying to be buddy-buddy with Pirates fans in the name of Sundowns. Maybe unaware, but its still only a feeling.

Yellow I Was, Yellow I Am & Remain! [SMILING:-) & vying for FC Barcelona]
posted: 01:38 pm
the dog has to be beaten 2dai..barca for life
posted: 02:52 pm
The best Derby in world, like it or not. The best team in the world with the worlds best player. Barca-kings of total football, but beatable. Real, fast and furious but always under barcas shadow. Fact- Messi is a football genius and Ronaldo just works hard. So amateurs keep ur lousy comments abt CR7 being better than Messi to urselfs coz thats ur opinion clearly disagreed by the footballing gods. Never heard Pele, Maradonna ever mention CR7, why? for the love of the game, use facts nd not favouritism-Cows
Themba lamagumusha
posted: 03:58 pm
chucky: 2012-01-18 14:52

The best Derby in world, like it or not.

Wena chucky, do you know what a derby is? Mxm...
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