Real Madrid v Barcelona Betting Preview: Latest odds, team news, tips and predictions

Real Madrid v Barcelona match preview image

Premier League Real Madrid v Barcelona

Real Madrid logo Barcelona logo

Sunday, March 1, 2020


Santiago Bernabéu Stadium

Punter's Pick

Real Madrid host Barcelona in one of the biggest games in world football. The two teams renew their rivalry at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in an El Clasico encounter which will leave the winner leading the table come the end of the game.

Real Madrid come into this game in poor form having lost three of their last competitive games with just one victory. The team looked on course to get a victory over Celta Vigo before the visitors secured a 2-2 draw and then a laboured Madrid performance saw them shocked by Levante away. Jose Luis Morales’ thunderbolt condemned Madrid to just their second league defeat of the season but a campaign which has included eight draws compared to Barcelona’s four is the main factor separating the two teams right now. The main issue this season has been their ability to break down teams who defend deep and the loss of 40 plus guaranteed goals in Cristiano Ronaldo has not been replaced. As a result Karim Benzema is coming too deep to get the ball with the likes of Toni Kroos and Luka Modric unable to find him. Madrid’s problems were further compounded when they lost 2-1 at home in the Champions League to Manchester City with their captain and talisman Sergio Ramos being sent off. This leaves them precariously placed with their season just a couple defeats away from complete disaster.

Barcelona have been in better form of late but far from convincing this term. They do however still have Lionel Messi who has been the main difference, with the Argentine netting 18 goals in 19 games and Luis Suarez also chipping in with 11. Four league defeats shows that it’s the inconsistency of Spain’s two powerhouses that has been the real story rather than both displaying excellence and running each other close. He Catalans will certainly feel that they have more solidity at the back and a more potent attack going forward but it has been seen that if teams can take the game to the Spanish champions then they are more than vulnerable and it has become more difficult for Messi to shoulder the burden single-handedly. The likes of Antoine Griezmann is still finding his feet at the club and rumours of Messi not being his biggest fan may have hindered the rapport between the players but they should be united in what could be the biggest game of the season on Sunday evening.

In team news Madrid were rocked by the news that star winger Eden Hazard could be out for the rest of the season after limping off in the defeat against Levante. Karim Benzema will most likely lead the line with Vinicius Junior looking to keep his place on the wings after impressing as a substitute against Levante and for 75 minutes against Manchester City. If or how Gareth Bale will be deployed will be the big question as the Welshman featured briefly against City but with Madrid’s scoring issues and inability to breakdown defences, Zinedine Zidane’s hand may be forced to play the winger.

Barcelona will be without full-backs Sergi Roberto and Jordi Alba. They are likely to be replaced by Nelson Semedo and Junior Firpo with there also being question marks over the fitness of Gerard Pique. Ousmane Dembele remains out with a long-term injury.

This El Clasico clash has an air of unpredictability about it as both teams have struggled throughout the season, with Madrid drawing too many games and Barcelona already having lost four. Both teams have players coming to the end of their careers with many of the old guard still their most influential operators. But this is a crucial game as whichever side wins is guaranteed to top the table and Madrid are still starting as favourites as the home side. We however feel the value lies with Barcelona who have started to put a run together with Madrid struggling both domestically and in Europe. The current price of 9/4 offered by Bet365 for a Barcelona victory is extremely generous and with Messi and Griezmann likely to lead the attack there is a high likelihood of a Catalan victory. Madrid also haven’t beaten their rivals since 2017 and we don’t feel they will buck that trend this time around. The two teams between them should also get back to goal scoring form and you can back over 2.5 goals at 4/6 as their goalless stalemate earlier in the season is unlikely to be repeated.

Punter's Pick

Real Madrid host Barcelona in one of the biggest games in world football. The two teams renew their rivalry at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in an El Clasico encounter which will leave the winner leading the table come the end of the game.

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