5th of February 2019 Author: Johnny Karp
The second "Clasico" derby of the season will take place on Wednesday at Camp Nou, when Barcelona take on Real Madrid in the first leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final tie. The first derby of the season was won by Barcelona quite clearly, the Blaugrana hammered their rivals 5-1 with a hat-trick from Luis Suarez and goals from Philippe Coutinho and Arturo Vidal. That result led to the dismissal of Real Madrid head coach Julen Lopetegui. That was the third victory for Barcelona over their rivals in the last six derbies in all competitions, while Real Madrid have won just two of the last six, both in the Spanish Super Cup.
Barcelona had an eight-game winning streak in LaLiga before last weekend, but it came to an end as they only managed to get a 2-2 draw against Valencia. However, it was a pretty good result considering how the match had started, with Valencia scoring twice before Lionel Messi bagged a double for the Blaugrana. The Argentinian star picked up a minor thigh injury during that match and is a doubt for the derby, and with Ousmane Dembele also a doubt, it might be time for 21-year-old Carles Alena to shine. In the previous round the Blaugrana pulled off a superb fightback against Sevilla, the won the second leg 6-1 after having lost the first one 2-0. Samuel Umtiti, Rafinha and goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen remain sidelined.
Real Madrid are on a five-game winning streak in all competitions, including a double victory over Girona in the quarter-finals of the Spanish Cup. Last week the Blancos secured a 3-0 home victory over Alaves in LaLiga and they are now sitting third in the table, eight points behind leaders Barcelona. They have a really tough match coming up at the weekend, they will face city rivals Atletico Madrid and that match could either bring them back in the title chase or take them out for good. Head coach Santiago Solari doesn't have any fresh injury concerns ahead of this match, central defender Jesus Vallejo remains the only name on the injured list.
Barcelona: Ter Stegen - Roberto, Lenglet, Pique, Alba - Rakitic, Busquets, Arthur - Alena, Suarez, Coutinho
Real Madrid: Navas - Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Reguilon - Kroos, Casemiro, Modric - Bale, Benzema, Junior
My prediction: Barcelona to win 2-1, the Blaugrana seem in better shape than their rivals, despite last weekend's result.
Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:
Barcelona win - 1.80
Draw - 4.00
Real Madrid win - 4.50
26th of February 2019
27th of October 2018
Messi will be missing this time, but they are playing home, Real Madrid is having problems this year, I agree with your prediction
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