Bringing the curtain down on year 2017 in Spanish La Liga cannot be celebrated better than watching the showpiece of El Clasico. All European football enthusiasts must be inpatient for next Saturday to come. Let us get down to brass tacks and make some El Clasico 23rd predictions.
The two giants of Spanish football go head to head at the Bernabeu. Online betting sites in Spain are predicting that the fourth-placed Real Madrid will be on a high after their Club World Cup win, and they will have a victory among their home crowd on the table-topping visitors Barcelona. We will pick and explain our El Clasico Dec 23rd predictions, which are in favour of Barcelona, and you can pick yours at Bwin Sportsbook.
Barca better in both defence and attack
The Catalans’ imperious first half of the season under new coach Ernesto Valverde has come as something of a surprise. They are in a dominant position sitting six points clear ahead of their trip to the Bernabeu, and they are looking to avenge Suprecopa loss.
Although Barca will be without Paco Alcacer, Rafinha and Ousmane Dembele who are not expected to be fit enough for Clasico squad, they carry with them a jam-packed strong defence, which has conceded just seven goals. They have one of best goalkeepers in the world Ter Stegen, and the big surprise in this season is Samuel Umtiti who fits really well with Pique in the full back position.
Barca’s attack does not need any explanation with Lionel Messi leading the squad, scoring 14 goals this season, and hitting the woodwork 14 times. Valverde’s men are well lined-up and all they need a bit of adrenaline.
Zidane’s first team still stumbling
Would Sergio Ramos receive another red card? (Source: LaLiga)
Los Blancos are out of spectacular choices on attack, causing a selection headache for Zinedine Zidane ahead of El Clasico. Zidane may push the coming back from injury Gareth Bale if he feels fit, as the younger players including Asensio and Lucas Vazquez could not fill the gap previously when the Welshman was recovering. Zidane’s backed striker Karim Benzema did not improve yet with only two goals in La Liga, and he will probably play from the start alongside his fellow star Cristiano Ronaldo who scored only 4 goals in three games out of 15 this season.
It will be very difficult for the royal club to penetrate Barca’s joint-best defensive record in La Liga. They are also expected to suffer on the side of defence with Sergio Ramos bad temper and Marcelo not being at his best.
El Clasico Dec 23rd predictions: Won’t decide La Liga Title
It is only a midseason and Saturday’s El Clasico cannot decide the La Liga title race, although a victory for either team would be a huge step forward. Real Madrid will certainly go at full pace on the pitch to repair the damage and cut the 11-points gap. Their odds are 2.15 at Bwin Sportsbook, unlike Blaugrana’s odds that stand at 3.10. Let us watch and see whether Valverde’s winning formula around the defence and the quality of the strikers up front will give Barcelona a happy Christmas.