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Real Madrid vs Barcelona betting tips: Copa del Rey semi-final first leg preview, predictions, team news and odds

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Real Madrid vs Barcelona

Real Madrid to win 2-1 against Barcelona- 17/2!


At 17/2, a £10 bet would return £95!

Real Madrid vs FC Barcelona

March 02, 2023

8:00 pm GMT

Match preview

The first of three Clásicos in just 34 days, a period that could define the season for both clubs.

Barcelona do not make the trip to the capital in good mood, after a pair of disappointing results this week.

First, seven nights ago, Xavi’s team were dumped out the Europa League by Manchester United, losing 2-1 at Old Trafford, despite leading at half time.

This means Barça have failed to reach the round of 16 of a UEFA competition for the first time since 1985.

Then, on Sunday, they suffered their first league defeat since October, beaten 1-0 by Almería at Estadio de los Juegos Mediterráneos.

The Blaugrana are still in pole position at the top of the table, but cracks are suddenly starting to appear.

Real Madrid could only cut that gap to eight points on Saturday as they were held to a 1-1 draw in el Derbi Madrileño.

A ten-man Atleti rearguard looked set for a famous victory in the derby, only for teenaged forward Álvaro Rodríguez to snatch an equaliser late on.

Nevertheless, the league title now looks to be a long-shot, with Carlo Ancelotti’s team therefore focussed on this competition, and the Champions League of course.

Bizarrely, los Blancos haven’t featured in a Copa del Rey Final since 2014, picking up their 19th title by beating Barça at Mestalla back then; Gareth Bale sprinting round Marc Bartra anyone?

So far this season, there have been two Clásicos, both of which have ended 3-1.

In October, Real Madrid cruised to victory in La Liga before, three months later, Barcelona were far too strong in the Supercopa de España Final in Saudi Arabia.

Which way will this semi-final first leg go at Estadio Santiago Bernabéu?

Real Madrid team news

Nacho will continue to fill-in at left-back, with David Alaba and Ferland Mendy both out injured.

Given that Luka Modrić will be suspended for Sunday’s trip to Real Betis, he’ll surely start here.

Aurélien Tchouameni and Eduardo Camavinga could also return to the midfield, with Toni Kroos and Dani Ceballos making way.

Given that Rodrygo is sidelined, Fede Valverde could be deployed on the right-wing.

Karim Benzema should be fit enough to lead the line, seeking to add to his 13 Clásico goals, two of which have come this season.

Predicted XI (4-3-3): Courtois; Carvajal, Rüdiger, Militão, Nacho; Tchouameni, Camavinga, Modrić; Valverde, Benzema, Vinícius.

Barcelona team news

Main man Robert Lewandowski is out, having sustained an injury in defeat at Almería on Sunday.

The Polish striker joins Ousmane Dembélé, Ansu Fati and Pedri in the treatment room, meaning Xavi is bringing with him a depleted squad.

Sergio Busquets, Frenkie de Jong and Franck Kessié will continue as the midfield trio, with Gavi as an auxiliary left-winger.

At the back, Jules Koundé, Ronald Araújo and Alejandro Balde will all return in place of Sergi Roberto, Eric García and Jordi Alba.

In the absence of Lewandowski, Ferran Torres will lead the line, with Raphinha returning on the right.

Predicted XI (4-3-3): ter Stegen; Koundé, Araújo, Christensen, Balde; Busquets, de jong, Kessié; Raphinha, Gavi, Torres.

Real Madrid vs Barcelona: Head to head statistics

Ben Gray

Ben Gray

Arsenal fan – follow them over land and sea (and Leicester); sofa Celtic supporter; a bit of a football '"encyclopedia".

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