Update, 9:15 PM CET: WE HAVE LINEUPS!
Real Madrid XI: Casillas; Altintop, Ramos, Carvalho, Coentrao; Xabi Alonso, Pepe, Lass; Cristiano, Benzema and Higuaín.
FC Barcelona XI: Pinto; Alves, Puyol, Piqué, Abidal; Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta; Cesc, Alexis Sánchez and Messi.
Interesting play here by Mourinho. Let's see how it pans out--drop us your comments below!
Deep breath, madridistas! Real Madrid are gearing up to host FC Barcelona in the first leg of their 2012 Copa del Rey quarterfinal. We've done the best we can breaking down the match from every angle--Lucas has a piece on tactics, Timm talked about injuries, Laila wonders if El Clasico has lost its' sparkle, and I wrote this preview. And there has been more, but I won't bother you with any more links.
So, as we head into the clásico, we only have a few questions: who will win the beautiful hand of Lady Luck? Will Pepe play for Real Madrid? Will Leo Messi continue his brilliant form against Iker Casillas? Will Madrid finally break their losing streak in the Bernabéu to Barcelona?
Tonight we'll answer all of these questions. Hopefully. And then we'll be back at it next week. God help us.
Here are the lineups, though we've refrained from speculating as to the starters.
Real Madrid: Keepers: Casillas, Adán and Mejías; Defenders: Ramos, Marcelo, Varane, Albiol, Pepe, Coentrão, Arbeloa and Carvalho; Midfielders: Lass, Xabi Alonso, Özil, Callejón, Sahin, Granero, Kaká, Altintop, Di María and Khedira; Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo, Higuaín and Benzema.
Barcelona: Keepers: Valdés, Pinto; Defenders: Piqué, Puyol, Mascherano, Abidal, Montoya, Dani Alves; Cesc, Xavi, Sergio Busquets, Adriano, Iniesta, Jonathan dos Santos, Sergi Roberto; Forwards: Alexis, Messi, Thiago, Cuenca.