Tonight sees La Liga giants Barcelona and Real Madrid go head-to-head in a Copa del Rey showdown at the Santiago Bernabéu, in what promises to be a performance of epic proportions.

The stage will be set for a Messi Vs Ronaldo showdown with both players out to prove that they are the dominant force in the game.  

The Portuguese international scored a hat-trick in last Saturday's league game against Getafe. However his glory was short-lived and superseded by the astonishing Argentine, who scored four goals as Barcelona thrashed 10-man Osasuna 5-1. 

Earlier this month, Madrid manager Jose Mourinho waved the white flag, conceding that their biggest rivals had all but won the La Liga title.  

Now they must focus all efforts solely on the Copa Del Rey and Champions League titles, even if the self-proclaimed 'Special One' may have spoken too soon.

The major woe for Madrid will of course be injury. Club captain Iker Casillas sustained a hand injury last week and is said to be out for months.  

This clash, however, could result in a debut for new signing Diego Lopez, who recently moved to Madrid from Sevilla.

Other first-team key players due to miss the game are vice-captain Sergio Ramos, Pepe, Angel Di Maria and Fabio Coentrao. 

Will these key absentees ensure victory for Barcelona is nothing more than a formality, or can Madrid spring a surprise and send the Catalan giants crashing to defeat?

Only time will tell.

 

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Cristiano Ronaldo