Barcelona vs. Real Madrid Pick

Barcelona vs. Real Madrid - Spain Copa del Rey Match Preview, Estadio Camp Nou Barcelona Spain 5 PM EST Tuesday February 26, 2013
By Jason Green, Soccer Handicapper, Predictem.com

Match Odds: Barcelona 1.60 / Real Madrid 5.00 / Draw 4.33
Moneyline: Barcelona -167 / Real Madrid +400 / Draw +333
Over/Under: 2.5 goals

NOTE: Both Real Madrid and Barcelona play in La Liga play on Saturday, February 23rd so check for any key injuries.

The 2nd leg of the semifinals of the Copa del Rey will determine which Spanish giant makes the final and Barcelona has the edge, as they are not only at home, but they played Real Madrid to a 1-1 draw in the first leg.

Barcelona is running away with the La Liga title with a huge 12 point cushion over Atletico Madrid and 16 points clear of Real Madrid. In Madrid in their last Champions League match the heavily favored Real played to a 1-1 draw against Manchester United, so unless they can advance in England they may have to win this Copa del Rey to add another trophy to their full case.

Barcelona is not only the favorite to win this match and the Copa del Rey, but also the Champions League, but they may be a little shell-shocked, as they lost to AC Milan in their last CL match and have to play a great match at home to advance in that competition.

In the first leg at Madrid both teams has many scoring chances, especially, in the first half, but the game ended in a 1-1 draw.

The big loss for Real lately has been G Iker Casillas, who is out with a broken hand and while he is recovering quickly from that injury he will not be available for this big match.

With Casillas out Diego Lopez has played well in goal and he is coming off a clean sheet in his last match.

These 2 arch rivals have met 4 times this season with Barcelona winning once, Real Madrid winning once, and 2 draws. It is interesting that these 2 teams face each other in league play only a few days after the Copa del Rey semifinal match.

Barcelona only has 1 La Liga loss this season while Real Madrid has lost 5 times. Real has 20 fewer goals that Barcelona this season and they may need to win with their defense, which is solid and has allowed the fewest goals in league play.

No lack of star power in this huge match and Real’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema each have 4 goals in Copa del Rey play this season and Barcelona’s Lionel Messi also has 4 goals.

The Real defense played solid in the 1-1 draw against Barcelona in the first leg of the Copa del Rey, but can they stop Messi and Cesc Fbregas, who scored in the first leg, but can they do the same in Barcelona? Big question.

Barcelona wins by grinding down their opponents by controlling the ball, but Real is one team that gives them problems with that. The team that plays better in the midfield will have a big advantage in this match and Barcelona has the edge in that aspect, but since they push forward they have to be wary of the counter-attack. Kak is back from being nicked up and his play will be key in the middle of the field, as he must disrupt Barcelona so they do not dominate the time of possession.

In their last 10 matches Real Madrid has an Over/Under 2.5 goal record of 6-4 and Barcelona is 8-2.

Barcelona Recent Form

1/30/2013 Real Madrid 1 Barcelona 1 (Copa del Rey Semi-finals)
2/3/2013 Valencia 1 Barcelona 1 (La Liga)
2/10/2013 Barcelona 6 Getafe 1 (La Liga)
2/16/2013 Granada 1 Barcelona 2 (La Liga)
2/20/2013 AC Milan 2 Barcelona 0 (Champions League)

Real Madrid Recent Form

1/30/2013 Real Madrid 1 Barcelona 1 (Copa del Rey Semi-finals)
2/2/2013 Granada 1 Real Madrid 0 (La Liga)
2/9/2013 Real Madrid 4 Sevilla FC 1 (La Liga)
2/13/2013 Real Madrid 1 Manchester United 1 (Champions League)
2/17/2013 Real Madrid 2 Rayo Vallecano 0 (La Liga)

Jason’s Pick to Win: Yeah, Real Madrid tends to step up and play Barcelona tough, but at Camp Nou Barcelona will not disappoint their home fans, as they will win the match by a score of 3-1 and they will advance to the Copa del Rey final.