Barcelona president Bartomeu reveals he would contact Real chief Perez about Isco

5 reasons why Barcelona will beat Real Madrid on Wednesday

"If the league ended tomorrow, it would be a different question". However, Real Madrid are a lot steadier than they were back then.

Solari's squad has been depleted with numerous injuries recently, however with a number of players returning to fitness this week, he should have more a choice regarding his starting line-up for this clash.

Real Madrid coach Santiago Solari said the uncertainty about Messi wasn't affecting his team's preparations.

It is unclear whether Messi - the all-time Clasico top scorer - will be fit for the game after ending Barcelona's 2-2 draw with Valencia at the weekend with a knock.

It was an unusual delay by the club, which normally is quick to release reports about its players' injuries.

They arrive for the first-leg match at Camp Nou enjoying their best period of the season and with almost all of its players available.

"I hope not, although it is curious to say the least", Solari said. Bale returned as a starter on Sunday alongside Benzema and Vinicius Junior as Alaves was beaten 3-0 in the Spanish league, the team's fifth consecutive win in all competitions.

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The Real Madrid manager believes Cristiano Ronaldo is the best player in the world but only because Lionel Messi is playing another sport. Benzema has found the net four times in four Copa del Rey matches this season and will, of course, be a considerable threat to Barcelona.

Real Madrid will be looking to avenge their 5-1 demolition in October that ultimately led to the dismissal of coach Julen Lopetegui.

Having a player of Lionel Messi's extraterrestrial caliber at one's disposal is obviously a privilege but rest of the Barcelona teammates needs to share responsibilities at crunch times.

"I don't think it changes anything", he added when asked how a hypothetical Messi absence could influence proceedings.

Barca's French forward Ousmane Dembele is unlikely to be fit for the game, as he is still recovering from a hamstring injury.

"Real Madrid usually play well at the Camp Nou", Valverde said.

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