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Preview: Copa del Rey


 

Barcelona and Real Madrid have made it quite clear that they just simply do not like each other. In the past few years, every time the two teams square off, the game turns into a bloodbath. Unfortunately, today will likely be same. The Copa del Rey, set to kick-off at 3pm CST, is going to be an interesting one. The defending Copa Champs, Real Madrid, are going to have a tough time against arguably the best team ever assembled. Although Madrid has a slight advantage playing at home in the Bernabeu, Barca has proved time and time again that Real is no match for them. In my opinion, the result of this game could be a bit different.

Madrid’s superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has been under a lot of scrutiny for not being able to perform against Barca. Now is his chance to prove everyone wrong. In various interviews lately, C. Ron has gotten incredibly worked up and even raised his voice at the press. He will be bringing that same kind of fire and intensity to the game today. Coming off his 13th hat-trick of his La Liga career, look for Ronaldo to bag at least one or two goals today. This match is not just about the superstar though, it is about the whole team (yes including Mourinho) proving they can beat their bitter rivals. Even with Madrid currently atop of the La Liga tables with 46 points, Barcelona is still regarded as the best team in Spain (and probably the world). With a win for Madrid today, that notion could start to change.

Jumping across the country to Barcelona, Pep and his boys will by no means give Real Madrid an easy game. Anytime Messi steps on the field, his team has a chance to win. At just 24 years old, young Lionel is a 3-time consecutive winner of the World Player of the Year Award. Being a soccer player myself, I would have to win the award 3 times in two years in order to match his achievement. I think it is safe to say that won’t happen. Regardless, this is going to be a fun game to watch. Madrid’s somewhat shifty defense will need to keep composure against a superior Barca attack, and allow their playmakers an opportunity to do some work.  As long as Madrid does not get down a goal or two in the early minutes, they will have a good chance and are my pick to get the W.

My prediction: Real Madrid over Barcelona3-2
Ronaldo (Real) with 2 goals
Ozil (Real) with one goal
Messi (Barca) with one goal
Pique (Barca) with one goal

Make sure you tune into www.espn3.com at 3pm CST for the game.

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