Semi-final, second leg; kick-off 19:45 (BST)
Barcelona (2) v Real Madrid (0)
Barcelona coach Josep Guardiola is expecting a tense evening at the Camp Nou despite his side’s 2-0 first-leg lead over Real Madrid.
The game itself is in danger of being overshadowed by events off the pitch, with both sides making claim ad counter-claim against each other following a turbulent first leg in Madrid six days ago.
Madrid, via assistant coach Aitor Karanka, has accused Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets of racism, while the Catalan side have been critical of their opponents negative and indisciplined approach in the first leg.
Guardiola, perhaps mindful of stoking the flames of further controversy, tried to focus on tonight’s match.
“I don’t know what Madrid to expect,” he said. “They have such a strong team and so many players that they can play in several ways. This is a very tough semi-final tie. We shall see how strong mentally we are tomorrow. I know the fans will help us especially if things get tough.
“I imagine that we have to be very focused because it’ll be tough, mentally speaking. We will have to move the ball fast and I am sure there will be a lot of anxiety but the fans will be there to help us. I want to thank them for this in advance and I want to thank the players for letting me experience this match. We want to try to reach the final again this season and I am very eager for the match to start, for the world to see it and to reach the final.
“Tomorrow we will try to play the best football possible and what happened is in the past. I hope those things we saw last week don’t happen again. I haven’t thought about who I will field tomorrow. [Seydou] Keita last week was fundamental and made the team very solid, he’s essential for us in this type of match.
“We have to be prepared for anything tomorrow: they can attack or defend, but we have to be ready for anything. Tomorrow Madrid will play the match of a lifetime to try to get to the final. They have a good enough squad to make life tricky for us.”
Guardiola was delighted to welcome back French full-back Eric Abidal, who only six weeks ago, underwent surgery to remove a tumour from his liver.
“Abidal has recovered and it’s great news,” he said. “Milito is injured and we spoke to the doctors to see if Abidal could help. They told us he was perfect physically but that he has lost a lot of weight. The team is really happy to have him back. We’re in the semi-final which is great news, and then Abidal is back and that’s great.”
Madrid assistant coach, Aitor Karanka, speaking in the absence of Jose Mourinho, whose suspension means he will be forced to watch the game from the stands.
“We have to respect people saying that we’re defensive,” he said. “Cristiano [Ronaldo] said that and if he has to be in the starting XI then he will be.
“Tomorrow we will see if we play defensively or not. It depends if there are 11 players on the pitch. They’re just ways of playing football and the important thing is to be in the final.
“The coach won’t be on the bench or in the dressing room area. We had that situation against Auxerre [and won 4-0] so it isn’t a problem. I think if there’s someone who feels bad now it is the coach for not being able to be on the bench tomorrow. So if we can win, we can dedicate it to him for being in the final – that would be important.
“In football we’re all professional and we’re grown up enough. The Real Madrid coach said it was his fault that we lost the match last week so we are able to be self-critical.”
Madrid will be without Sami Khedira, who has not played since tearing his right adductor muscle in the Copa del Rey final.