Monday, February 25, 2013

El Clasico preview - FC Barcelona vs. Real Madrid

By Mike Gramajo 

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Barcelona and Real Madrid meet Tuesday, Feb. 26 for the second leg of its semi-final Copa Del Rey tie. 

Last time both teams met, they dealt with a 1-1 draw, leaving Rafael Varane to tie the game for the Merengues after Cesc Fabregas opened up the scoring for the Catalans. 

The league champions, Madrid, are coming off a 2-1 win against Deportivo La Coruna, rallying back from a 0-1 deficit when Kaka tied the game in the 73rd minute and Cristiano Ronaldo assisted Gonzalo Higuain in the 88th minute. 

The Blaugrana were able to bounce back from a shocking 2-0 loss to AC Milan in the knockout stage of the Champions League after rallying back last Saturday against Sevilla, leaving Lionel Messi to score the 2-1 game winner for Barcelona.

Both rival clubs meet again this weekend during league play where Barcelona hold a comfortable 16 point lead against Madrid. 

With the winners of this tie heading towards the cup final, both clubs look to rely on their catalyst of star players. 

Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo is tied with Barca’s Lionel Messi with four goals in the tournament, however, both players were not able to get on the scoresheet during its first-leg encounter. 

Despite Madrid not being able to play their captain, Iker Casillas, due to a broken bone to his hand, Diego Lopez will most likely glove up while Jose Callejon will play right wing for Angel Di Maria who picked up a red card last Saturday during league play.

Madrid are currently playing their busiest week after they will come across Barcelona again on Saturday and play its Champions League Round of 16 tie against Manchester United at Old Trafford next week. 

The winners of this tie will go on to the finals where they will meet Sevilla or Atletico Madrid. 

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