There will be fireworks when Barcelona and Real Madrid face each other in the Copa del Rey edition of El Clasico. Wednesday marks the first leg of the semi-final matchup between the two biggest rivals in Spain. One side might be lacking star power, as Lionel Messi went down with an injury in Barca’s last game.

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Match Preview

Barca played out a 2-2 draw with Valencia in La Liga at the weekend, and to make things even worse for the fans, Leo Messi picked up a knock in the Camp Nou clash. The Argentine superstar is doubtful for Wednesday’s match against Real Madrid, but he is likely to play some part in the first leg of the Spanish Cup semi-final. Los Blancos have found their form of late and they will be looking to build on a routine 3-0 win over Deportivo Alaves when they take on Barca at Camp Nou.

Barcelona will be high on confidence in the Copa del Rey after coming from down 2-0 in aggregate against Sevilla to win 6-1 in the second leg at Camp Nou. Despite Messi’s injury, the Blaugrana did dispose of Real Madrid quite easily without him in their first meeting of the campaign. Real Madrid have won their last five games in all competitions, last losing 1-0 in their away leg of their quarter-final tie against Leganes.

Barcelona Team News

Messi is a doubt for the home side after picking up a minor thigh problem against Valencia at the weekend. This could see the Argentine star deployed on the bench to call upon if needed. Carles Alena may be asked to start wide, as Ousmane Dembele also has an injury complaint. Jordi Alba will definitely start at left-back as he is suspended for league action this coming weekend.

Real Madrid Team News

Santiago Solari has no fresh injury concerns but should give Keylor Navas his usual chance in goal for the Cup. Sergio Reguilon has been in great form and should hold his place ahead of Marcelo. Gareth Bale, Vinicius Jr and Karim Benzema are likely to be Los Blancos’ go-to attacking trio.

Intriguing Bets

Despite potentially being without their best player, Barca is still heavily favored at home in this contest. Expect their star striker Luis Suarez to fill the void by playing aggressive up front for the home team. Consider betting on the Uruguayan star to score at any time (1.95) in the match.

Barcelona has scored multiple goals in nine of their last 11 matches across all competitions, while Real Madrid has done the same in seven of their last eight. With that in mind, consider betting on both teams to score (1.48) at Rush777.