Saturday 26th October: 17:00
It’s the first Classico of the year! I mean, they’ll end up being about six more, but this is the first, and that has to mean something… right?
Actually, it does. In this game we see a number of firsts – the first Barcelona v Real Madrid fixture for both Carlo Ancelotti and for Tata Martino as well as for Isco and a certain Neymar Jr. Both managers have tried to shake up what the two Spanish behemoths have been doing tactically so this match could well be one of the most fascinating El Classico’s in modern memory. Just to add another factor in, this result could see Atletico Madrid sit atop La Liga.
Lil’ eager for La Liga
We’re only nine games into the new season in Spain, yet Real Madrid appear to be rank outsiders for this year’s title. Boylesports put Real Madrid’s title chances at a huge 9/4. Though they first few games were rocky for Carlo Ancelotti’s side, a win at the Nou Camp would put them level on points with Barcelona, and with this new Real side coming into form, perhaps a little flutter on the outright winner could be tempting.
How the bookmakers can be so certain in a game of this calibre never ceases to amaze me. All bookmakers are putting Barcelona on as odds on favourites for this tie, with the best odds being available from Stan James at 17/20. A draw is available at 16/5 at BetVictor whereas an away win is coming in at a shockingly high 7/2 with Sportingbet. Though the bookmakers seem to be very sure of Barcelona, Carlos Puyol is wary, saying that Real Madrid have been playing “better and better” as they head into Saturday evening’s showdown.
With Barca failing to create much in their midweek draw in Milan, Real Madrid coming into form and the huge odds, we are rather tempted to take on the Real Madrid win at 10/3 with Betfred.
Here’s a fun stat for you – in his last six appearances and the Nou Camp, Cristiano Ronaldo has managed to find the net (with braces in his last two appearances). For Cristiano to keep this impressive record running and score first in Saturday’s clash is at a rather tasty looking 5/1 with Bet365. Ronaldo averages more than a goal a game in his 150+ appearances and his two goals in midweek against Juventus made him the third highest scorer in Champions League history.
5/1. Yes please.
Score fest or bore fest?
We here at howtobet4free think we’ve got goals in this game. Both teams are rampant in attack and in their combined 18 games this season there have been 62 goals. For a safer bet, Over 3.5 goals is available at 5/4 at Sportingbet – and for those more adventurous an over 5.5 goals is available at 6/1 at Betfred. Whatever happens on Saturday night, I’m sure we won’t be shy of a couple of goals.
Jon is one of Howtobet4free’s co-founders and as well as producing content for the site also helps run the @howtobet4free_ Twitter account and Cheltenham Festival Facebook page. Jon works in Marketing and Communications in professional sport.