Real Madrid-Barcelona Preview: Los Blancos look to draw first blood in pivotal cup tie

Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho has a number of selection problems heading into Wednesday’s Clasico showdown against Barcelona.

Iker Casillas (broken hand) and Pepe (ankle) are out, while Sergio Ramos, Fabio Coentrao and Angel Di Maria all serve suspensions.

However, Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to start despite hurting his ankle in Sunday’s 4-0 win over Getafe.

Gerard Pique returns from suspension for Barcelona, who have a fully-fit squad at their disposal.

Jordi Alba, Andres Iniesta and Cesc Fabregas are all likely to be recalled to the starting XI after they were rested for the weekend victory over Osasuna.

  • The Castilian side have won just one of their last eight home encounters against Barcelona (W1, D2, L5).
  • Cristiano Ronaldo (pictured, right) scored his 100th goal at the Bernabeu in the win over Getafe to take his overall tally for Real to 179 in 176 matches.
  • Barcelona have won eight of their last nine away matches across all competitions.
  • The Blaugrana ran out 4-3 aggregate winners in last season’s Copa del Rey semi-final against Blancos.
  • Pedro is in line to make his 200th appearance for Barca.

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