We find it tough to find a more hotly anticipated fixture than El Clasico. There really is nothing between the two sides from a head to head perspective; with both recording 2 wins each in their last 4 meetings, and in their last thirteen, we’ve seen 5 wins apiece and three draws.
The Champions League was kind to both Real Madrid and Barcelona in preparation for this hotly anticipated La Liga fixture. Barcelona won 3-1 at home against Ajax whilst Real Madrid won very comfortably at Anfield. Real were comfortable enough to bring of talisman Cristiano Ronaldo with 15 minutes to go to ensure he is ready for this game. Barcelona took off Neymar and Messi with more than 20 to play, with Iniesta brought off with around 15 left – Luis Enrique looking to protect his key players for this fixture.
Goals Goals Goals!
In the league this season, Barcelona have managed 8 consecutive clean sheets, whilst Real Madrid have only managed 4, conceding 9 goals (but scoring 9 more than their Barca). Interestingly though, historical data could suggests that there will be goals in this game. You have to go back a whopping three and a half years, and 16 matches between the two sides to find the last clean sheet (Barcelona won 2-0 at the Bernabéu in the Champions League).
There has been a lot of talk about the star player of this tie, with Ronaldo already netting 15 league goals in just 7 games, and Messi/Neymar with a combination of 15 goals already, everything points to it being a great contest. Unfortunately for Madrid, they will be without record signing Gareth Bale, who is out through injury and will surely be missed to an extent. However, with the likes of Isco, James Rodriguez, Toni Kroos, Modric and others able to create for the likes of Benzema and Ronaldo, they should still have plenty of fire power to cause Claudio Bravo issues in the Barcelona goal.
Barcelona have Messi and Neymar, who are certainly up there with the best attacking players in the world, but don’t forget they are now able to bring Luis Suarez in to the attack. Undoubtedly, Suarez is one of the world’s top strikers and completes a lethal front three. Whether he will start against Real Madrid here remains to be seen, but even if he came on with 20 to go, he would cause problems for the home side.
This fixture should be an amazing spectacle, and be sure to keep your eye out on our Spanish expert Eduardo Borrero’s page as he has confirmed he will be recommending a bet for this game, it should be available on Friday evening.