Real Madrid are holding onto a lead over FC Barcelona in La Liga, but the points don't matter when the two sides renew El Clasico for the first time in 2012 on Wednesday. The draw has given the people a Copa Del Rey edition of the Clasico just a bit earlier than last season, when the two sides met in the final of the competition. This time, they meet in a home and away tie in the quarterfinals.
While Madrid's play in both La Liga and Champions League indicates that they might have the stronger squad this season, Pep Guardiola still appears to have Jose Mourinho's number. When the two sides met in August in the Supercopa de España, Barcelona captured the trophy in a home and away series by an aggregate score of 3-1. When the two teams met in La Liga in December at the Santiago Bernabeu, Real Madrid started strong but failed to finish their chances as Barcelona put them to the sword in a 3-1 victory.
The last time Madrid triumphed over their fiercest rivals was in this competition, however. Mourinho masterminded a victory in the Copa Del Rey final to take the trophy off of Barcelona, packing the midfield to deny space to Barcelona's creative players. He abandoned that strategy in December's Clasico, and much of the pre-match talk will center around Mourinho's tactics.
Real Madrid and Barcelona play the first leg of their Copa Del Rey quarterfinal tie on Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. ET, 10:00 p.m. local time at the Santiago Bernabeu. You can catch the game on GolTV in both the United States and Canada.