El Clasico is back, with Barcelona playing host to Real Madrid in the first leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final at Camp Nou.The Catalans have had to work tremendously hard to get themselves into this position, notably staging a stunning second-leg comeback against Sevilla last week , while Madrid’s progress to this juncture has been rather more serene.Having lost the first match of each of their last two ties, Barca will have to be on the mettle from the beginning on Wednesday or face their biggest challenge yet as they strive for their 31st triumph in the tournament. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Game Barcelona vs Real Madrid Date Wednesday, January 6 Time 8pm GMT / 3pm ET Stream (US only) fubo TV (7-day free trial) TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch In the United States (US), the game can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial) .New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser. US TV channel Online stream beIN Sports / beIN Sports en Espanol fubo TV (7-day free trial) In the United Kingdom (UK), the game will be streamed on Eleven Sports. UK TV channel Online stream N/A Eleven Sports Squads & Team News Position Barcelona squad Goalkeepers Ter Stegen, Ezkieta Defenders Pique, Semedo, Lenglet, Alba, Chumi, Vermaelen, Roberto, Todibo, Jeison Midfielders Rakitic, Busquets, Coutinho, Arthur, Vidal, Boateng, Samper, Alena Forwards L. Suarez, Dembele, Malcom, Messi Confirmed Barcelona starting XI: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Pique, Lenglet, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Arthur; Malcom, Suarez, Coutinho Position Real Madrid squad Goalkeepers Navas, Casilla, Courtois Defenders Carvajal, Vallejo, Ramos, Nacho, Varane, Marcelo, Odriozoloa, Reguilon Midfielders Kroos, Modric, Casemiro, Valverde, Vazquez, Llorente, Asensio, Isco, Ceballos, B. Diaz Forwards Marcelo, Benzema, Bale, Vinicius Junior Confirmed Real Madrid starting XI: Navas; Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo; Llorente, Modric, Kroos; Lucas, Benzema, Vinicius.Betting & Match Odds Barcelona can be backed at 4/5 to win this encounter, with Real Madrid offered at 7/2 by bet365 . Meanwhile, a draw is available at 3/1.Click here to see more offers for the game, including goalscoring markets, correct score predictions and more. Match Preview While La Liga and the Champions League may be the main target for both Barcelona and Real Madrid, having been paired together in the Copa del Rey, suddenly the knockout competition has taken on a new importance.The rivalry between these clubs runs deep and both will be determined to reach the final in Seville, which will be played on May 25.Throughout this competition, the respective teams have typically been shuffled to allow the star men to rest for the more important league matches, though that logic will now go out of the window for these clashes. Indeed, Barcelona already seemed to be thinking ahead to this match as they struggled to find their best form against Valencia at the weekend, fighting back to draw 2-2 but potentially losing their ace in Lionel Messi due to injury for this fixture.Nevertheless, on paper, it is Barca who hold the upper hand. They boast a six-point lead at the summit of the Primera Division ahead of Atletico Madrid and are eight marks clear of Real, having shown greater consistency over the season to date. Indeed, when the teams played earlier this term, Barca swept to a stunning 5-1 victory, without Messi, which proved the end of Julen Lopetegui in the Madrid hotseat, paving the way for Santiago Solari to take interim charge.Moreover, the manner in which Barca swept aside Sevilla 6-1 in the second leg of their quarter-final last week was utterly formidable and signified a team coming to the peak of its power.Nevertheless, the capital side are bullish about their prospects of causing an upset.“I play at Real Madrid, the best team in the world,” Vinicius Junior said ahead of the fixture . “I do not fear anything.”Historically, Barcelona have gotten the better of the Clasico, which was first played in 1929, with 113 overall wins to Real Madrid’s 99. Meanwhile, there have been 60 draws.As Los Blancos go chasing a historic 100th victory in the fixture, these are encounters that mean more to them, especially Solari, who is doing his best to show the board that he is worth the coaching job on a full-time basis.Barcelona, meanwhile, are the undoubted kings of the cup, having appeared in 23 successive rounds of the competition. Indeed, the last time they were knocked out before the final was February 2013, when Madrid beat them 4-2 on aggregate.The four-time defending champions will not want history to repeat itself.
PASADENA, CA – JANUARY 02: Penn State Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin looks on against the USC Trojans during the 2017 Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual at the Rose Bowl on January 2, 2017 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)Penn State has reloaded with young talent once again, and although 247Sports ranks its latest group of recruits as the No. 10 recruiting class, the Nittany Lions might actually have one of the top classes in all of the country.With Brandon Smith and Noah Cain leading the next group of Nittany Lions, the future is bright in Happy Valley. If Penn State is a firm believer in quality over quantity, then James Franklin and his coaching staff should be thrilled with their latest haul.The rankings might list other schools ahead of the Nittany Lions, but the average player ratings for each class actually bodes well for the prestigious program. Outside of Alabama, Georgia and Ohio State, Penn State ranks above every other college when it comes to talent alone.Top 2019 recruiting classes by 247Sports composite average player rating:1. Alabama 94.042. Georgia 93.713. Ohio State 92.164. Penn State 92.125. Auburn 91.906. LSU 91.397. Oklahoma 91.138. Texas A&M 91.099. Oregon 90.9710. Texas 90.90— Bill Landis (@BillLandis25) December 20, 2018Unlike other recruiting classes, Penn State doesn’t even have 20 commits as of now. For example, the Crimson Tide have 26 commits for the 2019 season, meanwhile the Nittany Lions have 18 incoming players.Headed into today, FSU, Ohio State, Auburn and Penn State are the only teams with top 15 2019 classes while having fewer than 20 commits.— Tashan Reed (@tashanreed) December 21, 2018Numbers can be deceiving at times, and in this case it shows that Penn State’s recruiting class definitely has the necessary playmakers to keep the program running at an elite level.While the Nittany Lions will have to say goodbye to several seniors this season, a new core of impact players will take their place.