Punters prepare for tonight’s El Clasico and enjoy a long list of betting offers despite Ronaldo’s absence.
It’s El Clasico time again. Tonight Barcelona host Real Madrid in Valencia for the Copa Del Rey Final. The teams have already met twice this season: Barca beat Real 2-1 at home and 4-3 way in the La Liga. The matchup in the Champions League didn’t happen, as Barcelona fell victim to Atletico Madrid in the quarters. This leaves Real with the only chance to beat the Catalans this season, and it’s the Copa Del Rey Final today.
Messi vs Ronaldo
El Classico in recent years is synonymous with Messi-Ronaldo duel, but this time around it’s not meant to be, as Cristiano misses the game due to hamstring injury.
Coach Carlo Ancelotti had the following to share in the Spanish gambling news:
“Cristiano is not available because we don’t want to take risks
and we have other very important games to come this season.”
Ronaldo is missing tonight’s El Clasico, but there are plenty of other betting offers
• Barcelona and Real Madrid go at each other again in tonight’s Copa Del Rey Final
• Punters enjoy plenty of odds at online sportsbooks in Spain even in Ronaldo’s absence
• Barca are favorites despite their poor performance in recent weeks
Cristiano Ronaldo has missed the last three games his teammates played, but according to Ancelotti, the squad has enough firepower to substitute him, and indeed the Blancos have only lost 1 game out of 10 Ronaldo missed this season. The Italian manager added: “We are going to lose a player with an incredible quality, but his absence has provided motivation for the team to run more and play more as a team.”
On the other side of the field, Messi is fit to play and remains one of the potential threats to Real’s goal. He scored twice during the last El Clasico, but both times from the penalty spot. However, these two goals made him the highest scoring footballer in the history of the world’s most celebrated rivalry.
Online sportsbooks in Spain
offer 4.00 odds on Messi to be the first to score, and 1.72 odds to find the back of the net at any time during the game. Messi’s hat-trick odds stand at 21.00. Even though both Messi and Barcelona have been off the top of their game lately, the skills of the Argentinean striker can never be discounted, and punters are aware of it.
Other betting odds
As usual, both land-based and online bookies offer a huge variety of odds for the upcoming fixture in total compliance with Spanish gambling laws. The teams have received pretty much equal lines on the fixture, with Barcelona enjoying a small lead at 2.50 odds, and Real behind with 2.70, and the draw pays at 3.60.
While Messi’s odds might not be too good, they still provide a nice payout. But perhaps a more interesting bet will be on Gareth Bale scoring at any time during the game with 2.87 odds and scoring first with 7.50 odds. If Bale manages a hat-trick – the payout will equal to 34.00.
Injury-struck Barca will be playing without a number of key defenders Gerard Pique, Marc Bartra and Carles Puyol, which will certainly provide good opportunities for Bale’s swift runs down the field. Bale is on form: he scored four goals during Real’s last three La Liga games.
Barca may have won both El Clasicos this season, but they are not enjoying the best of times currently. The Catalan are third in La Liga table behind Real Madrid and current leaders Atletico Madrid. They have just been shockingly beaten by Granada in the domestic league, and said goodbye to the Champions League at the hands (or legs) of Atletico.
It was their first time in seven seasons, when Barca failed to reach the Champions League semis. Adding to all this Fifa has put a transfer ban on Barcelona. However, players and coach are optimistic they can add another title to the already existing 26 Copa Del Rey wins.
Here’s what Barca midfielder, Andres Iniesta, had to say: “We would all like to live in a world of roses where everything is wonderful, but reality is not like that. This is a title, it is something for the fans and us to cheer.”
Copa Del Rey trivia
Here are some interesting facts about Barcelona, Real Madrid and the Copa Del Rey rivalry:
• Messi has scored 21 goals in El Clasicos. The four-times World Player of the Year is now leading the record in the renowned rivalry ahead of Real’s Alfredo Di Stefano on 18
• Real Madrid and Barcelona have faced each other 21 times in the Spanish Cup. Barca is on 10 wins, while Real can only boast 6
• The total El Clasico rivalry count is 90 wins for Real Madrid, 89 wins for Barcelona, and 48 draws
• The official number of El Clasico games since 1902 is 227 fixtures. The first one was won by Barca 3-1
• On the way to this year’s final Real Madrid has conceded 0 goals, the same cannot be said about Barcelona