We're less than twelve hours away from kick-off, and the tension is building once again. This is the match that could define the seasons of both FC Barcelona and Real Madrid. For Gerardo Martino and the Blaugrana, this Copa del Rey final clash is a chance at redemption; having crashed out of the UEFA Champions League at the quarter-final stage for the first time in seven years, there is immense pressure on Martino to deliver a trophy this season -- and let's face it, La Liga is all but out of reach after the weekend's defeat to Granada CF.
So, the 2014 Copa del Rey, which will not have been the primary target by any stretch of the imagination, will have to make do. Beating Real Madrid however, is priceless and always will be. Especially if it's for the third time this season.
As lost in amongst all the criticism, the fact remains that Martino boasts a 100% record in El Clasico, while his counterpart Carlo Ancelotti is yet to win, and hasn't defeated the Blaugrana in at least five matches. That being said, Los Blancos are closer to the La Liga title, and could benefit from any Barca win in the final match of the season. They also remain in the UEFA Champions League, and a semi-final against Pep Guardiola's Bayern Munich may be daunting, but there is a belief that it is still winnable.
Yet they know that the Copa del Rey is their most realistic shot at silverware. Following a barren season last year, as Jose Mourinho departed without a single trophy to his name, the Madridistas will be desperate to see Iker Casillas lift the King's Cup aloft.
And isn't that what it will ultimately come down to? Which side wants it more?
In the previous Clasico, that was FC Barcelona and Lionel Messi in particular. Against Atletico Madrid, it was Los Colchoneros, at the Blaugrana's expense. Which Barcelona will turn up at the Mestalla tonight?
Predict the score of tonight's Copa del Rey final and the latest El Clasico by commenting with your prediction below. As always, best of luck!
- 2014 Copa del Rey Final: Real Madrid vs FC Barcelona: Full Match Coverage
- El Clasico: FC Barcelona vs Real Madrid: Match Preview
- FC Barcelona News: 15 April 2014; Preparations for Cup Final in Full Swing, Barça Juvenil A Win UEFA Youth League
- La Liga: Granada CF 1-0 FC Barcelona: Player Ratings
- FC Barcelona News: 14 April 2014; Copa Del Rey Final Inches Closer, Juvenil A Prepare for Youth League Final