Following last month’s 1-1 draw at the Santiago Bernabeu, FC Barcelona are favourites to secure their place in the final of the Copa del Rey for a second successive season; although they still have to do the business in the second-leg of their tie with Real Madrid. Los Blancos have been struggling for consistency all season, but in spite of that, they have managed to contest each and every Clasico to a high standard; tomorrow is unlikely to be any different.
After scoring in six consecutive Clasicos, Barcelona finally managed to stop Cristiano Ronaldo from tormenting their defense in the first-leg, only to be undone by some shoddy defending after a routine cross. Raphael Varane got the goal that night, and he scooped the Man of the Match award to thanks to a number of crucial last-ditch interventions. Who knows? Without Varane’s excellent defensive work, maybe Lionel Messi would have broken the all-time record for goals scored in the Clasico?
Anyway, enough about the first-leg, what can we expect from the second? As Ryan Rosenblatt points out, Barcelona head into the match off Saturday’s comeback victory over Sevilla where David Villa announced his return from kidney stones (seriously, we have the worst luck when it comes to injuries) with a nice header. El Guaje adds another dimension to the Blaugrana attack and he also creates space for Lionel Messi. Now, you don’t need to be a math genius to figure out that Messi + space = goals. On the other hand, does Barcelona really need to start Villa? How will Jose Mourinho approach the match? So many questions, luckily, we have less than a day to wait for answers.