When you think of Barcelona's midfield, El Clasico or no, it normally goes something along the lines of Sergio Busquets, Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta. Although Lionel Messi is the team's posterboy -- and for good reason -- that midfield trio is almost as iconic. But are they the right group to take on Real Madrid in the first leg of the Copa Del Rey semifinal on Wednesday? Maybe not.
I advocate the Pedro-Messi-Iniesta trident [up front]. It allows Iniesta to create more chances, which helps out Lionel Messi who tends to enjoy scoring. So often last season, Messi – devoid of any real service – was forced to act as the creator in "big games", and this took its toll on his scoring record. You know what they say, you can have too much of a good thing but with Iniesta by his side, Messi is free to drift in and out of the game whenever he pleases, which generally works to good effect.
It makes sense. In Cesc Fabregas, Barcelona have an elite midfielder to slot into the spot in which Iniesta would usually sit, and having an intelligent player like Iniesta up against the non-exactly-world-class Alvaro Arbeloa will allow him to drift away from his marker and set up chances for the central players. It's difficult to see how the home side would be able to counter a free-roaming Iniesta on Barcelona's left flank, but it would be very, very fun to watch.