Preview: Real Madrid vs. Barcelona

Preview: Real Madrid vs. Barcelona
© PA Photos
Sports Mole previews the first leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final between Real Madrid and Barcelona on Wednesday.

Real Madrid welcome old foes Barcelona to the Spanish capital on Wednesday in the first leg of their semi-final in the Copa del Rey.

Madrid sit some 15 points behind the Catalan outfit at the top of the La Liga table, meaning that this competition, along with the Champions League, has taken on added importance in the second part of the season.

Jose Mourinho's side enter the match on the back of a 31-match unbeaten run at the Bernabeu, but they have won just one of their last eight home matches against their opponents on Wednesday.

Barcelona, meanwhile, have won eight of their last nine away matches in all competitions. They also knocked Real Madrid out at this stage of the Copa del Rey last season, before going on to claim the trophy against Atletico Bilbao.

Mourinho will be without Iker Casillas and Pepe with long-term injuries. Meanwhile, Sergio Ramos, Fabio Coentrao and Angel di Maria are all serving suspensions. Antonio Adan should therefore start in goal, although new signing Diego Lopez could also come into contention.

Barcelona will have Gerard Pique back from suspension, while Jordi Alba, Cesc Fabregas and Andres Iniesta should all return having sat out Sunday's 5-1 victory over lowly Osasuna.

Recent form:

Real Madrid: DWWDW
Barcelona: WDLWW

Possible lineups:

Real Madrid: Adan; Arbeloa, Albiol, Varane, Marcelo; Khedira, Alonso; Ozil, Modric, Ronaldo; Benzema

Barcelona: Pinto; Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Alba; Xavi, Busquets, Fabregas; Pedro, Messi, Iniesta

Sports Mole says: 2-2

Real Madrid's Karim Benzema celebrates scoring the opening goal against Valencia on January 23, 2013
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Result: Nine-man Madrid see off Valencia
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