Real Madrid CF vs FC Barcelona
Competition/Round: 2018-19 Copa del Rey, Semi Final, Second Leg
First Leg Result: Barcelona 1-1 Real Madrid
Barcelona Outs & Doubts: Thomas Vermaelen, Rafinha, Jeison Murillo, Kevin-Prince Boateng, Jean-Clair Todibo, Sergi Samper (out)
Real Madrid Outs & Doubts: Marcos Llorente, Isco (doubt)
Date/Time: Wednesday, February 27, 2019, 9pm CET/WAT (Barcelona & Nigeria), 8pm GMT (UK), 3pm ET, 12pm PT (USA), 1.30am IST (India, Thursday)
Venue: Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid, Spain
Referee: José María Sánchez Martínez
How to watch on TV: beIN SPORTS (USA & Canada), Eleven Sports 2 (UK), Canal+ Sport 1 (Nigeria), GOL, TVE La 1, TV3 (Spain), others
The biggest game in the world is once again upon us, and this week we get it twice: Barcelona and Real Madrid will face each other in two editions of El Clásico over the next four days. It’ll be a treat for the neutrals, and it might kill fans from both sides. I don’t know if I’m ready yet.
Wednesday’s clash is the second leg of the Copa del Rey semi final, with the winner advancing for the title game in Seville at the end of the season. The first leg at Camp Nou was a nice back-and-fourth battle where each team got to dominate one half. Both scored once and we have a wide open tie going into the Bernabéu.
Barça didn’t have the best Lionel Messi available for that game due to a nagging injury, but the best player in history showed he’s all good again after a masterful performance against Sevilla. The manner in which Barça came back and the exceptional team performance in the second half was a huge confidence booster going into the biggest week of the season so far.
The first Clásico might not look that important because it’s just the Cup. But that doesn’t matter. It’s El Freaking Clásico. You have to win all of them. But Barça don’t actually need to win this to advance to the final: because of the away goals rule, any draw starting at 2-2 will favor the Blaugrana, but a combined 10-3 scoreline over Barça’s last three visits (all wins) to the Bernabéu shows that they’re capable of much more than just a draw.
This will be fun. And also nerve-wracking. It’s El Freaking Clásico. Let’s do this.
Barcelona (4-3-3): Ter Stegen; Roberto, Piqué, Umtiti, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Vidal; Messi, Suárez, Dembélé
Real Madrid (4-3-3): Navas; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Kroos, Casemiro, Modric; Vázquez, Benzema, Vinicius
Ever since the first leg ended, I just can’t stop picturing this crazy second leg with a lot of goals and bad defense, and Barça going through on away goals: 3-3 draw.