With their La Liga title defence all but over, the Copa del Rey represents Real Madrid’s only realistic chance of a domestic trophy this season.
Defeat to Barcelona at Spotify Camp Nou last Sunday extended the deficit between the two in La Liga to 12 points, and the El Clasico rivals will meet again in 10 days’ time for the second leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final tie.
Barcelona won the first leg at the Santiago Bernabeu 1-0 courtesy of an Eder Militao own goal, but they go into the match without three key players in Pedri, Ousmane Dembele and Andreas Christensen.
Carlo Ancelotti should have his full squad at his disposal for the showdown match, although Thibaut Courtois has had to withdraw from the Belgium squad after suffering a mild abductor strain, as per Sport.
Courtois will return to Real Madrid in the coming days, where he will be monitored ahead of their fixture against Real Valladolid on Sunday.
Courtois’ return is said to be more of a precaution, and Real Madrid will be desperate to have their starting goalkeeper available for El Clasico.