Soccer Spain Copa del Rey Prediction
Barcelona vs Real Madrid - Match Preview
⚽ 5 April 2023 - 19:00 GMT +0
Barcelona seemingly have one hand on the La Liga trophy following Saturday’s 4-0 demolition of Elche and carry a 1-0 advantage into this Copa del Rey (CDR) semi-final second leg against fierce rivals Real Madrid. While a draw would be enough to see them advance into May’s final, only one of the last ten H2Hs ended level after 90 minutes (W4, L5) so it appears there’s still plenty of work for Xavi’s side to do.
As the last-gasp 2-1 league win here last month was their first home H2H victory since October 2018 (D2, L2), Barça can ill afford to rest on their laurels as they seek to reach a record 43rd final. But after keeping three consecutive CDR clean sheets anywhere, and going unbeaten here since October (W7, D2), they’ll start as deserved favourites for the 254th competitive edition of ‘El Clásico’.
Madrid, for whom defeat here would level up the all-time competitive H2H at 101 wins apiece, will have less recovery time than their rivals but manager Carlo Ancelotti claimed: “There’s no disadvantage”. The Madrid boss was at least able to rest some of his players for their comprehensive 6-0 thrashing of Valladolid on Sunday which cut Barcelona’s league lead back to 12 points.
Playing away from home has been more of a problem for Los Blancos as they seek to avoid going three competitive road games without a win (D1, L1). More encouragingly, Madrid won both CDR away games this term by a single-goal margin, a repeat of which would force extra time, something they might welcome after winning the last four H2Hs in which another period was necessary.
📋 Players to watch: Barcelona’s Robert Lewandowski scored in each half against Elche having also bagged a brace in this competition against Ceuta. Both he and Madrid’s Karim Benzema scored in January’s Supercopa final (Barcelona 3 Madrid 1) and the Frenchman netted a first-half hat-trick at the weekend against Valladolid, with his first and third goals separated by just six minutes and 30 seconds!
⚡ Hot streak: Both teams scored in each of the last ten CDR H2Hs held at Camp Nou (Barcelona: W4, D3, L3).
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