The semi-finals of the Copa Del Rey will feature one of the biggest matches in the world as Barcelona and Real Madrid they will meet for the first match of the semi-finals. Only one team can go on to lift the trophy as the winner will face either Osasuna or Athletic Bilbao.
Barcelona are well on their way to winning La Liga and are currently seven points ahead of Real Madrid and Xavi he has already secured his first trophy in charge with a win in the Spanish Super Cup, also over Real Madrid. But with Barca falling out of the Europa League in his hands Manchester United, this is a contest they must win to have a successful season. It is also an important match for Real Madrid as their dominance of La Liga is threatened. Los Blancos are still in contention for a Champions League win, but with the team so many points behind, they may need to secure a double — not counting the Club World Cup — to feel good about how things have gone.
With three El Clasicos coming up in the next 35 days, let’s take a look at some numbers that could decide the match:
8: Goals conceded by Barcelona in 23 league games
This is a bit of a misleading stat as while Barca allow 0.35 goals per La Liga game played, it is a number they win when in cup competition. In 15 cup games this season, Barcelona have allowed 19 goals for a much more reasonable 1.23 goals allowed per game. While it’s still a big number, it does projection that when Barcelona’s defense is tested by good strikers — which Real Madrid have — their defense can be covered. It’s especially an issue when Barcelona do things like play Marcos Alonso at centre-back, which is great for a possession-based game, but can haunt them if they’re at the back.
2: Losses for Los Blancos when Karim Benzema he has scored
It may seem simplistic to sum things up as if Benzema scores, Real Madrid wins, but this season it has proven to be quite true. Benzema has struggled with fitness this season but has still scored in an astonishing 14 games in all competitions. The only losses for the team when scoring were to Villarreal and … Barcelona in the final of the Spanish Super Cup. Benzema will want a different outcome to this match, but that will be decided by the strikers.
1-1: Record between Barcelona and Real Madrid this season
Despite what the table might say, these teams can’t be separated by much with one win in each game so far this season, 3-1. Real Madrid’s home win came in October with both teams relatively full. Barcelona won on a neutral ground, but Real Madrid had a very big loss Eduardo Camavinga sits at the base of the midfield instead of Aurelien Tchouameni.
Tswameni may be Real Madrid’s next most important player after Benzema as they have no other natural defensive midfielder with Casemiro now at Manchester United, but he won’t be able to slow down Barcelona’s attack on his own.
Robert Lewandowski he will likely miss El Clasico with a hamstring injury but Ferran Torres can fill in when needed in the role, while Rafina has shone with Ousmane Dembele on the sidelines. Xavi will be looking to bounce back from Europa League exit while Real Madrid have scored five unanswered goals in the past Liverpool appears, it will be quite the show.
How to watch and odds
- Date: Thursday, March 2 | Year: 3 p.m. ET
- Location: Santiago Bernabeu – Madrid, Spain
- TV: ESPN | Live broadcast: fuboTV (try free)
- Chance: Real -105; Draw: +260; Barca +270 (via Caesars Sportsbook)