Barcelona head to the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday for a Copa del Rey clash with Real Madrid in what will be the first of two Clasicos in the space of three days.
Ernesto Valvderde’s side have won this competition in each of the last four seasons and the first leg of this semi-final at Camp Nou three weeks ago ended 1-1.
Barca come into the game following a morale-boosting 4-2 win at Sevilla in La Liga at the weekend thanks to a Lionel Messi hat-trick but Madrid were unconvincing in overcoming Levante 2-1 on Sunday evening.
Real Madrid have had 30 hours less to prepare the game on Wednesday and given their poor recent record in Clasicos at the Bernabeu - having won just two of the last six - 17/10 (2.70).
The visitors, who won 3-0 on the last visit to their eternal rivals, are priced at 29/20 (2.45) with the draw offered at 5/2 (3.50).
Real Madrid have few injury concerns heading into the game. Only Marcos Llorente and Isco were missing from the matchday squad for Sunday’s game against Levante and both have been ruled out for the clash with Barca.
The Catalans are still missing midfielder Arthur Melo, although they welcomed back Samuel Umtiti at the weekend as the French centre-back starting his first game in three months.
These two sides meet on Saturday evening in La Liga at the Bernabeu but with Madrid trailing Barca by nine points, Wednesday’s Copa del Rey semi-final second leg is arguably more important.
Los Blancos may have looked lethargic at times this season, but since the turn of the year they have shown themselves capable of producing big performances in big games.
Wednesday’s match is one of the biggest matches of the season for Solari’s side and while they are outsiders for the win, they should not be dismissed.
Barca themselves have been less than convincing at times, but in Lionel Messi they boast a player capable of winning any game in any situation.
Tips and predictions
Over 2.5 goals and both teams to score has paid out in 12 of the last 17 Clasicos in all competitions and is offered at 4/5 (1.80). This seems an intelligent way of backing a high-scoring game which is always likely when these two sides meet.