This week’s El Clasico double header is a real treat, as the two Spanish giants duke it out in league and cup. Wednesday’s Copa del Rey semi-final second leg at the Bernabeu decides who goes on to May’s showpiece at the Benito Villamarin, while it’s back to Madrid on Saturday evening in La Liga.
With Barca leading Los Blancos by nine points, this is a must-win game for Santi Solari’s side. Finding themselves 12 points behind with 12 games to go surely counts Madrid out of the title race at the start of March. That’d be a disaster for the reigning European champions, but a six-point deficit suddenly brings them right back into the picture.
The capital club showed some of their recent improvement at the Nou Camp in early February, after Real were thrashed 5-1 by their bitter rivals in the same stadium back in October. The 1-1 draw in the first leg of the cup semi-final gave Madrid some renewed optimism, as well as the platform to reach the Copa del Rey final.
It’s back to league business on Saturday though, as Real look to avenge not only their humiliating defeat to Barca earlier this season, but also a 3-0 loss on home soil last term. In fact, Barca are looking for their fourth straight victory at the Bernabeu in La Liga, which would be an incredible achievement.
The Catalan giants have scored at least three goals in each of their previous three wins, netting 10 in total. With that in mind, a Barcelona win with over 3.5 goals in the game could be worth a look this weekend at 9/2.
It’s no surprise that Madrid are struggling to replace the void left by Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure in the summer. Barca have scored 22 more goals than them this season, while Real have lost seven of their 25 games. Two of Barca’s last three wins at the Bernabeu have been to nil, with a repeat of that priced at 5/1.
However, Madrid have been much improved of late. They’ve only lost one of their last 10 fixtures in all competitions, winning eight of those. Barca have won just five of their last 10. Real have only kept two clean sheets in that run though, with a home win and both teams to score bet priced at 3/1.
Karim Benzema has played a big role in Real’s resurgence. The French striker has scored eight goals in his last nine games, and is 11/2 to open the scoring this weekend. There’s no surprise who the favourite in that particular market is though. Lionel Messi has an incredible 25 goals in 23 La Liga games so far this term, and is 4/1 to break the deadlock in the El Clasico betting odds.