Barcelona vs Real Madrid : El Clasico is back, with Barcelona playing host to Real Madrid in the first leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final at Camp Nou.
Barcelona vs Real Madrid
Spanish Copa del Rey, Semifinals
Place: Santiago Bernabeu – Madrid, ESP
Time: 3:00pm ET
Barcelona vs Real Madrid Live Stream
A repeat of the first-leg scoreline will see extra time played, with a potential penalty shootout deciding proceedings.
The winner will face either Valencia or Real Betis in the final in Seville.
Live Stream: Eleven Sports (UK) BeIN Sports Connect (U.S.) After what’s been a frustrating campaign for Real supporters, the capital city giants could gain some relief if they stop Barca’s dominance of the Copa.
The Catalans have won the past four Spanish Cups, with Real last winners back in 2013-14.
It was almost the perfect night for Los Blancos as they took a sixth-minute lead in the first leg through Lucas Vazquez, but Malcom’s second-half equaliser saved the holders’ blushes.
Real have chased Barca’s tail this season. The Bluagrana have dominated La Liga without hitting top gear, and Madrid are on their second coach of the campaign after dismissing Julen Lopetegui in October.New boss Santiago Solari has guided the ship since October, but the Argentinian could face a similar demise if Real do not capture silverware.
The Copa was always going to be the simplest route to a trophy for Real, but to run into Barca in the last four was a blow.
However, holding an away goal, a goalless draw will be enough for Solari to take his team to the final.
Barca travel to the Bernabeu in the knowledge they hold a 5-1 away win at Real in La Liga this season.
The defeat was the final straw for Lopetegui, and the former Spain national team boss was quickly ushered out of his job.
Barcelona vs Real Madrid : Match Preview
While La Liga and the Champions League may be the main target for both Barcelona and Real Madrid, having been paired together in the Copa del Rey, suddenly the knockout competition has taken on a new importance.
The rivalry between these clubs runs deep and both will be determined to reach the final in Seville, which will be played on May 25.
Indeed, Barcelona already seemed to be thinking ahead to this match as they struggled to find their best form against Valencia at the weekend, fighting back to draw 2-2 but potentially losing their ace in Lionel Messi due to injury for this fixture.
Nevertheless, on paper, it is Barca who hold the upper hand. They boast a six-point lead at the summit of the Primera Division ahead of Atletico Madrid and are eight marks clear of Real, having shown greater consistency over the season to date.
Indeed, when the teams played earlier this term, Barca swept to a stunning 5-1 victory, without Messi, which proved the end of Julen Lopetegui in the Madrid hotseat, paving the way for Santiago Solari to take interim charge.
Moreover, the manner in which Barca swept aside Sevilla 6-1 in the second leg of their quarter-final last week was utterly formidable and signified a team coming to the peak of its power.
Nevertheless, the capital side are bullish about their prospects of causing an upset.
“I play at Real Madrid, the best team in the world,” Vinicius Junior said ahead of the fixture . “I do not fear anything.”
Meanwhile, there have been 60 draws.