Real Madrid v Barcelona - Copa del Rey Final

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REAL MADRID

Iker Casillas: The greatest goalkeeper in Real Madrid and Spain’s history has been in good club form so far this season. The mistake against Slovakia was a reminder of how confidence has been hit hard in the last two years but for Madrid at least he is still the man for the big occasion.
 
Dani Carvajal: Better going forward than he is defensively. He will be a potential weak link for Barca to expose but they will need to pay full attention to his runs from deep. Sergio Ramos: Still the best central defender Spain has despite the occasional lapses of concentration and always a goal threat in the big games. Will look to get forward and threaten at the other end when possible.
 
Pepe: Ever since Jose Mourinho told him he was probably heading out to pastures new, the Portugal international has been rolling back the years and playing his best football at Madrid. His partnership with Ramos will be essential as Real look to shut out Messi and company. Marcelo: Frequently AWOL, Barça will look to hurt Madrid down their left side with the running of Suarez. Marcelo makes up for his defensive weaknesses with attacking verve but this will still be a key area where Barcelona can point score.
 
Luka Modric: More important to Madrid than ever since the departure of Xabi Alonso and Angel di Maria. He is the last man standing from their brilliant midfield from last season. Isco: In for the injured Gareth Bale and the former Malaga midfielder has been on top form in the last two games looking to grab his first-team chance. None of the explosive runs of Bale but will help Madrid keep the ball. Karim Benzema: The unsung hero of Madrid’s ‘BBC’ front three is happy to come back and look for possession. Also has a decent scoring record against Barcelona of late, scoring twice in the 4-3 defeat last season. Cristiano Ronaldo: Will be even more pumped up than usual knowing that his nemesis Messi is on the verge of breaking the all-time scoring record in Spain. Will lead from the front and look to get one to one at crosses with Dani Alves and Jordi Alba if he plays. 10

Barcelona

Lionel Messi: Operating somewhere between attacking midfield and withdrawn centre-forward Messi will play just where Real look most vulnerable after the sale of Xabi Alonso. Goes out on to the pitch knowing that if he scores he will draw level with the all-time league top scorer Telmo Zarra… that’s a little bit of extra pressure that will not necessarily be an advantage.
 
Neymar: Really looked up for it last week against Eibar. That’s a bad sign for Madrid fans. If Neymar is up for it against the league’s smallest team then how motivated will he be for the biggest game on the planet?

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