Barcelona vs Real Madrid, KO: 19:00 Dec 18, 2019, Camp Nou
CHRISTMAS will arrive one week early for football fanatics when fierce rivals Barcelona and Real Madrid collide at the Camp Nou on Wednesday night.
The two Spanish superpowers are currently embroiled in an engrossing title tussle in La Liga with only goal difference separating the old foes after 16 rounds of fixtures.
Both teams squandered precious points on the road last weekend with champions Barca drawing 2-2 with Real Sociedad on Saturday, before the men from Madrid traveled to the Mestalla on Sunday where a stoppage time strike was needed to salvage a 1-1 draw with Valencia – a game which I successfully tipped Madrid to make hard work of.
Consequently, Los Blancos missed out on the opportunity to reach the summit of La Liga last time out, however, Zinedine Zidane's star-studded side will be presented with another chance to go top of the table in this mouthwatering meeting with Barcelona.
The Betting Odds
Barcelona are undefeated in the last eight El Clasico's and that coupled with home advantage sees Ernesto Valverde's side go into this battle as big odds-on favourites at 3/4 (Ladbrokes)
The Betting Angles
Given the collective star power that will be on display in this showdown, as well as the notoriously fiery nature of these affairs, punters may have to dig deep in certain markets to source value.
Five of the last eight confrontations between these two heavyweights have seen both teams score,however, there is no value in backing a repeat at 1/2 (William Hill) or over 2.5 match goals for that matter at 4/9 (William Hill) with the same firm.
However, an alternative angle that catches the eye and incorporates both rivals making the net bulge is backing both teams to score and each team to collect 20+ booking points at 5/6 (Betfred) – a bet that would have banked profit in the last two Clasico's in Barca's backyard.
In considering who will get on the scoresheet, a case could be made for several players on both sides and believe it or Lionel Messi has failed to score in his last three El Clascio appearances.
The Argentine goal-machine has scored 12 times in 11 run-outs this term – nine of that tally have come during Messi's last four appearances on home turf – and I fancy the Barca talisman to hit the back of the net against Real.
Messi is as short as 8/15 (Betway) to get among the goals on Wednesday night, however, I'm going to take a bolder approach and combine a Messi goal with a Sergio Ramos booking at an attractive looking 29/20 (BetVictor)
An El Clasico goal looks overdue for the Ballon d'Or winner and that coupled with a caution for hothead Ramos who has been booked in three of the last fives derbies all adds to the appeal of backing the aforementioned combination.
I certainly wouldn't side against Messi and Co from inflicting more Clasico misery on Madrid, however, I suspect this battle could be slightly tighter than what the betting suggests.
Indeed, Valverde's champs have only lost one of their last 15 matches across all competitions, however, Real are unbeaten in their last 11 outings and given what's a stake here, another enthralling El Clasico is to be expected.
Barcelona will be targeting a 15th consecutive league win at home on Wednesday night and although the hosts could well seize the initiative in the Spanish title race, I am instead going to back Barcelona to score two or more goals and to take five or more corners at 6/5 (Betfred) – a bet that has landed in five of Barcelona's last seven La Liga matches at the Camp Nou.
This match between Barcelona and Real Madrid will be played on Dec 18, 2019 and kick off at 19:00