FC Barcelona vs. Real Madrid is set to be a very exciting game which will be important for deciding the Spanish champion this season.
League leader Barcelona will host second placed Real Madrid on 22 March. El Clasico will be very important regarding that it is the final stage of the season as only 10 more games will be left after the clash. Both teams will try to do their best in order to defeat the opposing side so that they could gain 3 points in the championship.
• Decisive El Clasico on 22 March
• Barcelona are expected to win due to superb form
• Real Madrid are underdogs and perform poorly recently
According to La Liga betting sites, Luis Enrique’s men are believed to be the favourites for the game as online spostsbooks in Spain, such as Bet365, have set the odds for Barcelona winning the match at 1.75 (3/4). Carlo Ancelotti’s side are huge underdogs as the odds for their triumph are 4.00 (3/1) per Bet365.
Barcelona are favourite for the clash and expect to increase their 1 point advantage
The current Spanish championship leader has won 20 of their 26 games and lost 4, the latest one against Malaga on 21 February. They have collected 62 points so far which has granted them first place in the league. The fact that Los Blancos lost their form in recent games, has also helped the Catalan side progress up the table. Before hosting the Capital team, the Blaugrana will visit Eibar, who are only 3 points away from the relegation zone.
Luis Enrique’s side is looking for winning the 23rd championship in the club’s history, and they have really good chances to reach that. Online gambling sites in Spain have set the odds for the Catalan team winning the league at 1.67 (4/6) while those for Real Madrid are 2.20 (6/5) per Bet365. Barcelona have every chance to finish an incredible season due to their top class form in all the tournaments they play in.
They performed well up until this point in the Champions League by defeating Manchester City in England in the first leg of the 1/16 finals. The second leg at Camp Nou will be held on 18 March, 4 days before El Clasico, but The Blaugrana are expected to go through to the next phase without any problem. They have also reached the final in the Spanish Copa del Rey after defeating Villarreal by 3-1 on both legs at the semi-final. They will play for the Cup against Athletic Bilbao, a team that overcame the powerful stars of the Royal Club.
The great success of the Catalan side can mainly be attributed to some of their stand-out performers. The attacking trio, Messi, Suarez and Neymar or the so-called MSN, have notched a great number of goals this season. Suarez did not start very well at Barcelona but he has scored 13 goals in 26 matches.
Neymar has created a number of goals as well, having scored 26 but the real key player in Barcelona’s success is 4 time Ballon d’Or winner Leo Messi. The Argentine counts 41 goals so far this season, 30 of which were scored in the league. He is joint top scorer of La Liga with his greatest rival, Cristiano Ronaldo, after scoring a hat trick in the last game against Rayo Vallecano.
Real Madrid are underdogs but El Clasico is always a three-chance game
The Galacticos are, however, not in such great form like their Catalan rivals are. In the beginning of the season they seemed to be invincible breaking a Spanish record with their 22 games won consecutively. Then the problems started piling up. Luka Modric got injured for months, having returned to action in the Champions League game against Schalke. The team have also lost one of their main heroes Sergio Ramos as well as World Cup star James Rodriguez, two key players for the Madrid-based side.
Without these footballers, Los Blancos had to face many difficulties. Their form dropped incredibly with the style of their game becoming less and less attractive, which brought on the negative results. Atletico de Madrid knocked them out of the Spanish Cup in the round of 16 by a combined result of 4-2. Then the city rival also defeated Los Blancos by humiliating them 4-0 in the league before suffering a draw and another loss against Villarreal and Bilbao respectively.
Their performance also worsened in the Champions League. After getting a 0-2 advantage in Gelsenkirchen against Schalke, the Spanish team hosted the German side and almost failed to qualify for the next round. Roberto Di Matteo’s men took the lead 3 times during the game at the Bernabeu stadium and were only one goal away from eliminating their opposition. Schalke thus became the second team in the history of Champions League to score 4 goals at Bernabeu.
The cause for Real Madrid putting on disappointing performances recently is because the attacking trio – Bale, Benzema, Cristiano – have been playing worse lately. Spanish gambling news report they run less, create less occasions and they score less goals. According to a recent poll, 46% of Galacticos fans would bench Gareth Bale as soon as possible, while 32% wish the same for the Golden Ball winner Cristiano Ronaldo. Manager Carlo Ancelotti himself has stated in an interview after the loss against Athletic Bilbao, that the attackers move too slowly, touch the ball too many times and overall, they lack efficiency.