Real Madrid vs FC Barcelona: Barça goes to the Bernabéu for a spot in the Spanish Cup final
Jordi Roura can call on his most important players for the match against Real Madrid. Los Blancos are without Casillas, Pepe (injured), Ramos, Coentrao and Di María (suspended). However, the Blaugrana know that Real Madrid, despite coming into the match with important absences, have always been a very dangerous side. Roura is aware that overconfidence could lead to a disastrous result at the Bernabéu. Barça coaching staff and the players have rubbished being called favourites for this Wednesday match, despite the 15-point lead FC Barcelona have in the Spanish League.
Barcelona (FCB).- This evening\u2019s Clásico at Real Madrid\u2019s Santiago Bernabéu stadium (21.00 CET), the fourth showdown between the two sides this season, conjures up a mix of precaution, excitement and ambition for FC Barcelona. On one hand, the Blaugrana know that Real Madrid, despite coming into the match with important absences, have always been a very dangerous side. It doesn\u2019t matter who\u2019s on the pitch, Los Blancos are a threat in any match. Jordi Roura, who is managing the Catalan side this evening as Tito Vilanova\u2019s assistant, warned of Madrid\u2019s capabilities in yesterday's pre-match press conference. Roura is aware that overconfidence could lead to a disastrous result at the Bernabéu.
On the other hand, Busquets admitted on Monday that Barça won\u2019t be looking for a draw against Real Madrid. \u201CA victory would be a good result,\u201D he declared.
Liga and Super Cup, neither yielded victory for the Blaugrana
The coaching staff and the players have rubbished being called favourites for tonight\u2019s match, despite the 15-point lead Barça have in La Liga. This summer\u2019s Spanish Super Cup also doesn\u2019t yield accurate predictions. In the away leg, Barça went from a possible 4-1 to a 3-2. Even though Madrid could have scored a handful of goals in the first half, the game ended with a FC Barcelona comeback despite being a man down. Clásicos are unpredictable matches. Like the 2-2 in the Spanish League last October, the match could have been won by either team.
Five important absences
The outcome of tonight\u2019s match is further clouded by Real Madrid\u2019s depleted squad. Casillas and Pepe will miss the match due to injury, while Ramos, Coentrao and Di María are suspended, which means that Jose Mourinho\u2019s starting XI will be just as experimental as Barça\u2019s when the two teams faced off in La Liga, when the Blaugrana couldn\u2019t field Puyol and Piqué, and Alves had to be subbed off early in the first half.
At this point it\u2019s unknown if Real Madrid\u2019s five missing players will affect the outcome of the match, but Mourinho will be able to call on all of his strikers, including Cristiano Ronaldo. Barça, on the other hand, come into the match with most of its players fit to play. It\u2019s time for another Clásico: precaution, excitement and, especially, ambition. A spot in the final is up for grabs.