UEFA Champions League: Real Madrid vs FC Barcelona Preview, Stats and Team News
It's chapter three of the epic encounter between the two footballing giants of Spanish football and Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho once again lock horns in the first leg of the Champions League semifinal at the Bernabeu on Wednesday.
Jose Mourinho's side would be on a high, recently leveling 1-1 with the Catalan giants with 10 men in the league game and then beating them in the Copa del Rey final. With Iniesta out of the first leg and Madrid playing in front of a home crowd, Jose Mourinho's men would be charged up.
Barcelona have struggled to check Real Madrid's high-ball threat and Real Madrid have threatened on the counter, although not availing their chances to the fullest.
Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta has been ruled out of Wednesday's Champions League semifinal and Pep Guardiola confirmed on Tuesday's prematch press conference that the Spain international will not be available for the clash at the Bernabeu.
The Catalan side are already without Eric Abidal, Adriano, Maxwell and Bojan Krkic, while Carles Puyol and Gabriel Milito have both been struggling with injuries recently.
The onus of Barcelona's goals would once again fall on Lionel Messi, whereas Real Madrid would welcome the inclusion of Higuain to the squad and his three goals against Valencia might just be enough to earn him a start.
Injured players: Adriano, Abidal, Maxwell, Iniesta and Bojan (Barcelona) Khedira and Gago (Real Madrid)
Real Madrid Squad List
Goalkeepers: Casillas, Adan, Dudek
Defenders: Pepe, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Arbeloa, Albiol, Garay
Midfielders: Lass, Granero, Xabi Alonso, Kaka, Di Maria, Ozil
Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema, Higuain, Adebayor
Barcelona Squad List
Goalkeepers: Valdes, Pinto
Defenders: Alves, Pique, Puyol, Milito, Montoya, Fontas
Midfielders: Mascherano, Busquets, Iniesta, Xavi, Keita, Afellay, Jeffren, Thiago, Sergi Roberto
Forwards: Pedro, Messi, Villa
FC Barcelona Possible lineup: Valdes - Alves Mascherano Pique Puyol - Xavi Busquets Keita - Pedro Messi Villa
Real Madrid Possible lineup: Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Arbeloa, Albiol, Pepe, Diarra, Alonso, Ozil, Ronaldo, Higuain
Some Interesting Stats
Barcelona are the team that has scored most goals in UEFA competitions: 896. Real Madrid is second with 890. (UEFA)
Barcelona have not lost a game this season with Puyol and Pique in the starting lineup: 15 wins 3 draws (Via @Barcastuff)
CL topscorers this season: Messi 9; Eto'o, Gomez 8; Anelka 7; Benzema, Ronaldo, Soldado 6; Raul 5.
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