It will be Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo battling on Wednesday. Reuters

Perhaps the two best clubs in the world meet at Santiago Bernabeu as Real Madrid host Barcelona in the first leg of the quarter-finals of Copa Del Rey on Wednesday.

There will be no shortage of incentive for each team to win, but this game is also a revenge match for Real Madrid after losing to their rival by conceding three unanswered goals at home on Dec. 10 in a La Liga loss, 3-1.

For Barcelona, the loss of last year's Copa Del Rey final to Real Madrid probably still has a lingering bad taste. The Catalans are also trailing Real Madrid in the standings by five points, which should add fuel to the fire of this match.

The lineups will also be interesting. Jose Mourinho has been mum on whether Sergio Ramos might play right back on Wednesday, as well as if Pepe will be in front of the back four. Sami Khedira is sidelined with an ankle injury, but winger Angel Di Maria will be back in the lineup.

Real Madrid will also be without suspended Alvaro Arbeloa.

Barcelona has been struck with a number of injuries this season. Both David Villa and Pedro are out, which means Alexis Sanchez will have to step up in their absence. Barcelona will also be without Seydou Keita, who is away at the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations

Pep Guardiola rotates his goalkeepers in this competition, and this time Jose Manuel Pinto will be starting.

The two faces of the clubs will also be on display.

While Lionel Messi is riding high after being named the FIFA Player of the Year, Cristiano Ronaldo has heard derisive whistles from some Real Madrid fans in recent home matches, which has prompted pointless transfer speculation that Ronaldo might return to Manchester United.

I always try to relax before a game. The pressure doesn't get to me. I try to stay positive and always see new challenges. My mental strength is very important to me, Ronaldo told DT.

I just want to win every game and play well. That's always my goal; put in a good performance and get a good result. I don't mind who the opponent is because my motivation will always be the same.

Meanwhile, Guardiola is not taking Real Madrid for granted despite the convincing win in December.

Going to the Bernabeu we must be wise to get through, Guardiola said. The only way to get a result and have the tie alive is to go to win the game. Madrid are the strongest opponents that we can find. Against Madrid you cannot feel a favorite.



G: PintoD: Alves, Puyol, Pique, AbidalM: Xavi, Busquets, IniestaF: Messi, Cesc, Sanchez

Real Madrid

G: CasillasD: Coentrao, Ramos, Pepe, MarceloM: Xabi Alonso, Diarra, Callejon, Ozil, RonaldoF: Benzema

PREDICTION: This game may not be not be as memorable with some of Barcelona's stars out of action, but there will certainly be plenty of chances to score for both squads. Real Madrid will have to play additional emphasis on containing Messi, while Barcelona needs a big game from Sergio Busquets to hold off the steady Real Madrid midfield. In the end, Real Madrid will be a little more amped for this match, and should make this game more competitive than the last time the two clubs met in Madrid.

PREDICTED SCORE: Real Madrid 3 - 3 Barcelona