Real Madrid vs Barcelona
We have a re-run of the biggest clash in La Liga this weekend, when Real Madrid and Barcelona meet again at the Bernabeu, days after they met in the Copa del Rey.
The Catalans had the upper hand in that match, running out 4-1 aggregate winners, and Los Blancos have a difficult job on, to avoid another defeat. Ernesto Valverde’s team looks to be romping towards another domestic double, with their talisman Leo Messi breaking records by the week.
In contrast, Real Madrid seems to be missing the departed Cristiano Ronaldo rather more than they hoped. And while head coach Santiago Solari seems to have steadied the ship since taking over following a disastrous start to the campaign, things are far from perfect at the Bernabeu.
Winning El Clasico would go a long way towards healing the wounds of the Copa exit, but it would not close the gap enough to have Madrid fans dreaming of dominance any time soon.
Barca’s Copa triumph sets the tone
The Copa del Rey battle between these two great sides has put Barca firmly in charge of the relationship after the reigning champions swept Los Blancos aside with a 0-3 second leg win at the Bernabeu. Luis Suarez was in scintillating form as he bagged a brace while Los Blancos were wasteful in front of goal.
Lionel Messi didn’t score but he occupied much of the hosts’ attention, Toni Kroos leaving his mark with a crunching tackle. But Messi created the space for Suarez and Ousmane Dembele to prosper, the latter crossing for the first two goals. A lot will depend on the form of Raphael Varane, at the heart of the Real Madrid defence, on Saturday. The Barca boys will pose a huge threat.
The La Liga 2019 betting market has Barca as the overwhelming favourite to retain the title, with a seven-point lead over Atletico Madrid and nine points over Real.
And Barca fans have more reasons to be cheerful with the La Liga 2019 news just in
that Jordi Alba committed his future to the club by penning a five-year deal. The defender’s contract will have a buyout clause set at 500m Euros, a measure of his value to the Catalans.
Dressing room rumblings at Real Madrid
There have been rumours of a less than happy atmosphere in the dressing room at the Bernabeu in recent weeks, but they’ll need to be playing as a team on Saturday, or they could be on the end of another beating.
Gareth Bale was the hero of Los Blancos win at Levante last week and now has seven league goals for the season. But the Welsh Wizard drew attention to himself by refusing to join in a celebration with Lucas Vazquez. Solari has had to field questions about dressing room arguments and it seems like Bale may have been at the centre of it all.
Anyway, he was left out of the Copa match in midweek and had to look on as Vazquez and young Vinicius Junior spurned a number of good chances. 18-year-old Vinicius has a big future, but he isn’t yet Ronaldo and I can’t help thinking the Madrid side could do with the fit-again Bale in the side.
Barcelona has had the better of the El Clasicos since 1994, winning 31 to Real’s 19 and there have been 18 draws.
The Catalans have won three of the last five meetings, scoring three or more each time, with the other two games resulting in a draw.
This season Barca has an away league record of eight wins, three draws and a single defeat, and is unbeaten in the last five away games.
No Real Madrid player has scored more than Karim Benzema’s 11 goals, while Messi has 25 and Suarez 16.
And Messi has scored a whopping 26 goals in 40 El Clasicos.
|Real Madrid vs Barcelona||Barcelona 1X2 @ 2.52|
|March 03, 03:45 (GMT+8)|
Home advantage didn’t help Los Blancos in the Copa, but the odds point to a close encounter in La Liga, with the hosts at 2.77 and the draw at 3.25.
As part of the us tips lets say Barca will score and, more than likely, Messi will get his 27th El Clasico goal. I think that’s a safer bet than relying on one of Real’s unsettled strikers.
So it’s a win for the Catalans. But if you want to hedge your bets a little, for an alternative you can get odds of 1.86 on Barcelona, draw no bet.
|A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR () BETS ARE WORTH:|
|= €20 (Highly confident)||= €10 (CONFIDENT)||= €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)|
Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.
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