Copa Del Rey Semifinals Preview – Real Madrid vs FC Barcelona

Monday, February 25th, 2019

By Jonathan Willis
Real Madrid vs FC Barcelona

Another El Clasico will likely determine a cup winner this Wednesday when Real Madrid hosts FC Barcelona in the second leg of the Copa Del Rey semifinals. This will be the third meeting between Spain’s biggest clubs this season. In the first meeting back in late October, Barca hammered Real Madrid 5-1 with Luis Suarez netting a hat trick in the win. However, the second match was much more even and the clubs’ 1-1 draw in Camp Nou in the first leg of this tie sets the stage for a thriller here. Barcelona are slight favorites to advance, and the winners of four straight Copa Del Rey trophies know that this will likely determine whether or not they make it five straight domestic cups.

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Real Madrid vs. FC Barcelona

  • Date and Time: February 27, 2019, 3 p.m. ET
  • Location: Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, Spain
  • US Television Coverage: beIN Sports
  • Betting Line: Barcelona PK -123, O/U 3
Soccer Sports Betting

Recent Form

It’s unlikely Real Madrid erase a 12-point deficit to seriously challenge Barcelona for La Liga, so this is one of their two chances to win a trophy this season. Real Madrid have a pretty good chance to win this tie and advance considering any kind of win or a 0-0 draw both send them through to the final, but they have been pretty inconsistent this season. They have not been the goal scoring juggernaut we have seen in the past, and even a renowned back line has been spotty. Real Madrid fell 2-1 to Girona in their last game in the Bernabeu, and they needed two penalties to get past Levante on Sunday. They knocked off Melilla, Leganes, and Girona to make it to the Copa Del Rey Semifinals.

Barca are seven points up in La Liga, and they are heavy favorites to claim the league title once again. They picked up a big win on the road against Sevilla last week thanks to a Lionel Messi hat trick, and the Blaugrana haven’t received too much of a challenge in the Copa Del Rey to date. Barcelona defeated Cultural Leonesa, Levante, and Sevilla to make it to the semifinals.

Key Absences

Real Madrid will not have Franchu for the rest of the season after he suffered a major injury back in mid-Decemebr. Marcos Llorente will be out for a couple more weeks too due to a groin injury, and Karim Benzema’s status is in doubt due to a leg issue. Everyone else should be available though after Isco and Luca Zidane returned to training.

Rafinha will miss the rest of the season for Barcelona after suffering a torn ACL, and Jasper Cillessen is out for a few more weeks while he recovers from a calf injury. Fortunately, Thomas Vermaelen is questionable and may be set to return to provide more experience in the back line, and Arthur is back in practice following an absence due to a strained hamstring.

Matchup to Watch

Can Real Madrid keep Lionel Messi at bay in this match? Messi has yet to start against Real Madrid this season. He missed the first meeting between these two sides with a broken arm, and he only came on as a substitute in the first leg of this tie due to rest reasons. Messi has been indomitable against other teams this season. He has 25 goals and 11 assists in 23 league matches, and he looks set to lead La Liga in both categories.

Spanish La Liga Free Picks

I can’t take Real Madrid here because of their consistency issues. They have not performed up to their high standards on either side of the ball this campaign, but Barcelona have been great on offense. I’ll take the Blaugrana at this discounted price all day.

Spanish La Liga Prediction: FC Barcelona 3, Real Madrid 1

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