Tonight marks the fourth time that Real Madrid and Barcelona have met this season and could be the most decisive of them all. “The Special One” is aiming to pull off the feat of knocking out the Catalans for the second time in as many seasons at the semi final stage and take Madrid to their first final since 2002.
Jose Mourinho’s side have come a long way since being drubbed 5-0 back in November by the La Liga champions and the Copa del Rey win a week ago will give them added impetus coming into this game. Without first choice centre back Ricardo Carvalho they are likely to struggle but Mourinho’s strategy is likely to involve having three defensively-minded central midfielders.
The formation will basically translate to seven at the back, the wingers tracking and one lone forward foraging his way around Barca’s back four looking for scraps. The visitors to the Santiago Bernabeu aren’t without their injury problems either and will be without one of their attacking linchpins Andres Iniesta.
The first leg is likely to be the more pivotal of the two games with Mourinho in the position he so craves – home in the first leg. Last season’s masterful 3-1 victory over Barca with Inter in the first leg will be replayed on tonight’s pre-match montage more than footage of Diana and Charles wedding will be this Friday and so it should be.
It was a victory that should not be forgotten and you can be sure that it is still fresh in the minds of the Blaugrana. Anything near that result will do just fine for The Special One.