Barcelona depleted for Copa ‘clasico’ towards Real Madrid3 min read
Barcelona had been scoring comfortable, getting loads of objectives from its forwards to maintain thriving within the Spanish league and the Copa del Rey.
Lack of offensive prowess was removed from an issue for the Catalan membership.
But issues have modified getting into an important a part of the season, with Barcelona attracting consideration for a sequence of accidents in assault and enduring a poor scoring run.
Barcelona will likely be with out a few of its prime scorers when it visits Real Madrid within the first leg of the Copa del Rey semifinals on Thursday. And it’s not identified if they are going to be match when the rivals meet once more in a decisive Spanish league match in just a few weeks.
Barcelona will head to the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium with out Robert Lewandowski, Ousmane Dembélé and Pedri due to accidents. The trio have mixed for 40 objectives this season, with 25 coming from Lewandowski, eight from Dembélé and 7 from Pedri.
Lewandowski is out with a hamstring pressure sustained within the 1-0 loss at Almería on Sunday, which marked the primary time Barcelona failed to attain a purpose in a match since October. Pedri and Dembélé are nursing muscle accidents.
“We are missing three important players, but we can still compete,” Barcelona coach Xavi mentioned Wednesday. “More than ever, we need to play as a team. We have to play with personality.”
Forward Ansu Fati additionally has been injured just lately however was anticipated to be obtainable for Xavi on the Bernabéu.
He might play on the left aspect of the assault, with Raphinha on the correct and Ferran Torres coming in as a striker. Torres had one in all his finest video games with Barcelona in a league ‘clasico’ towards Madrid final 12 months, when the Catalan membership gained 4-0 on the Bernabéu. Xavi might use Gavi in a extra offensive place in midfield if Fati doesn’t play.
Barcelona outscored opponents 24-7 in a 11-game profitable run that ended with the house draw towards Manchester United within the first leg of the Europa League playoffs. It then misplaced 2-1 in England final week to see its hopes of silverware decreased to the Copa and the league, the place it leads Madrid by seven factors.
“If you look at the last two matches, it looks like we are in the hospital,” Xavi mentioned. “But we are still leading the league and we are in the semifinals of the Copa, so it’s been a good run. We can’t focus on the last two matches.”
Barcelona defeated Madrid 3-1 within the Spanish Super Cup last in January. It misplaced by the identical rating within the first ‘clasico’ of the season in a league match on the Bernabéu.
“We don’t want to win just to avenge the Super Cup loss,” Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti mentioned. “We want to win because we are close to winning another title.”
MADRID’S ATTACK COMPLETE
Madrid has two absences in protection due to accidents — central defender David Alaba and left again Ferland Mendy — however Ancelotti may have all of his prime gamers obtainable in assault.
Rodrygo is the newest ahead to recuperate from harm and is predicted to play on Thursday in an assault led by Vinícius Junior and Karim Benzema.
Madrid missed an opportunity to maneuver nearer to Barcelona within the league after being held by 10-man Atlético at residence on Saturday. It has a 5-2 lead over Liverpool within the spherical of 16 of the Champions League.
Madrid is trying to win its first Copa since 2014. Barcelona gained it for the final time in 2021.
The different Copa semifinal will likely be performed between Osasuna and Athletic Bilbao, probably the most profitable Copa staff behind Barcelona.
Athletic is making its fourth straight semifinal look, whereas Osasuna is within the final 4 for the primary time since reaching the ultimate in 2005.