The first Clasico of the season may prove to be decisive. Real Madrid lead La Liga by six points and are unbeaten in thirteen. If they leave the Camp Nou victorious, Barcelona’s chances of retaining the title will have all but disappeared. It could also signal the end of Luis Enrique’s reign.
Real by contrast are flying. Favourites to win the title, likely to win their group as they seek to become the first team to retain the Champions League and they are scoring goals for fun. Storm clouds are on the horizon though. Gareth Bale is out for three months and Cristiano Ronaldo has been struggling with niggles throughout the season. They can’t afford to lose him as well.
But this is El Clasico, a match draped in history. One where Catalan pride faces off against the Establishment.
WHERE TO WATCH IT!
And a match you can’t see live on British television thanks to archaic broadcasting laws. But thanks to bet365, you can watch a stream of the biggest game of the weekend anywhere in the world. Simply open an account with them and watch the live stream!
The match will kick off at 15:15pm UK time. You can watch the match with bet365 on your desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile device. To do so simply follow the steps below:
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Always a crunch match for the Catalans, Barcelona simply cannot afford not to win this match. Successive draws against Malaga and Real Sociedad see them trailing Real’s wake, six points adrift at the top and above Sevilla thanks to the better head-to-head results.
Luis Enrique’s side have stuttered all season. Winning runs have been punctuated by sloppy draws and baffling defeats. Alaves won at the Camp Nou in September whilst Celta won a crazy match in Vigo, 4 – 3 a month later.
They should have left the Anoeta on Sunday night with another defeat chalked against them, saved by the woodwork and a wrong disallowed goal. It’s their bogey ground and that point could prove crucial.
Barca are unbeaten in six in the league but lost at Manchester City in the Champions League, comprehensively outplayed in the 3 – 1 defeat. It hasn’t altered the outcome of the group; they have finished top once more.
This match has the opportunity to be pivotal for them. Speculation was rife that Lionel Messi was contemplating leaving after his tax fraud conviction but is set to begin talks over a ‘sign for life’ contract.
Win tomorrow and things will be looking considerably better in north-east Spain.
If things are looking grim for Barcelona, they couldn’t be any better for Real. Unbeaten at home and abroad, they can all but sink their biggest rival’s title hopes with a win in the Camp Nou.
The only black cloud on the horizon is Gareth Bale’s injury. Flourishing at the Bernabeu, the Welsh international is out until early 2017 following recent ankle surgery. To add to Zinedine Zidane’s woes, Karim Benzema hasn’t scored in three games and seems distracted by his legal woes.
Step forward Cristiano Ronaldo. A hat-trick in the last-ever Madrid derby to be staged in the Vincent Calderon typified his season; he is the ‘go-to guy’ when Real are struggling. He has seven goals in his last four games and the next one is his 500th in club football. You can’t make that kind of invitation to score up.
Eyes will be on him and Lionel Messi with the Portuguese international certainly in the ascendency at the moment but that does hide other problems for Zidane. Injuries are forcing him to manage his squad carefully with Casemiro, Morata and Kroos fitness a cause for concern.
However, Kovacic and Vasquez haven’t let their coach down and Ronaldo on fire, confidence is high that they can walk away from this game with three points.
FORM (Last six games)
Barcelona - WLWDWD
Real Madrid - WDWWWW
- Cristiano Ronaldo’s next goal for Real will be his 500th in club football
- The Portuguese international has scored 8 in his last 9 Clasico’s. Lionel Messi hasn’t scored in his last five.
- Real Madrid have scored 20 in the six away games in La Liga. Barcelona haven’t conceded in their last three La Liga home games.
- If Barcelona win, it will be their 50th in home La Liga Clasico’s
- It’s been 15 years since the last goalless draw between the two sides in La Liga
CURRENT MATCH ODDS [BEST PRICED ODDS]
HEAD TO HEAD
Last six meetings
Date Competition Result
02/04/2016 La Liga Barcelona 1 – 2 Real Madrid
21/11/2015 La Liga Real Madrid 0 – 4 Barcelona
22/03/2015 La Liga Barcelona 2 – 1 Real Madrid
25/10/2014 La Liga Real Madrid 3 – 1 Barcelona
23/03/2014 La Liga Real Madrid 3 – 4 Barcelona
26/10/2013 La Liga Barcelona 2 – 1 Real Madrid
It’s a match which is difficult to call. On the face of it, Real Madrid ought to romp home on current form but whilst results have been going their way, they haven’t always matched the performances.
However, with Cristiano Ronaldo seeking a milestone goal in club football and scoring for fun, it’s hard to look beyond an away win.
Until you remember that this is Barcelona they are playing. Not your typical club side and one which will punish any weakness ruthlessly. It’s also a match which motivates Lionel Messi and not having scored in the last five is a record he will want to shake off.
Yet, they were vulnerable against Real Sociedad and that is something which won’t have gone unnoticed by Los Blancos. Is this the day when the title slips out of Barcelona’s grasp? It certainly seems that way.
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Francois is one of Howtobet4free’s co-founders and has written many of Howtobet4free’s popular Betting Guides. Francois also helps run the @howtobet4free_ Twitter account