With no late game in the Premier League on Saturday, El Clasico takes centre stage, and Jake Pearson fancies the home side to get one over on their rivals.
This is a huge match for all three teams at the top of La Liga, with Atletico Madrid leading the way by a point from Barcelona, while Real Madrid are breathing down their necks a further two points back.
A win for either side would put them in with a big chance of claiming the title, while Diego Simeone and his men will be desperately hoping for a draw.
Barcelona still have Atletico Madrid to play before the end of the season however, so Real really could be the team in the driving seat come Sunday morning.
This looked for all the world like the season that Atletico finally added another La Liga to their trophy cabinet, so out of form were both Real and Barca at the beginning of the campaign, and though Simeone’s side will be kicking themselves for letting such a big lead slip, it is hard to be too critical given the turnaround in form shown by both Real and Barca in the second half of the season.
Both sides have had their fair share of criticism this term, but you would be hard pushed to find two more in-form sides than these two as they prepare to face off on Saturday evening, with Real’s recent form figures reading DWWWWW, while Barca’s read WWDWWW.
Real Madrid have lost just once in La Liga since November, while Barcelona haven’t been beaten in the league since December.
The one difference between the two sides however, is Real Madrid’s ability to carry their league form over into the Champions League, comfortably sweeping aside a good Atalanta side in the Round of 16, before a hugely impressive 3-1 win over Liverpool in the first-leg of their quarter final tie earlier in the week.
Real looked incredibly sharp in that match, first to every ball and constantly switching the play with unerring accuracy.
Barcelona, on the other hand, had their frailties exposed once again at the highest level as PSG consistently sliced through their defence at the Camp Nou last month.
Barca were better in the second leg, drawing 1-1 with the Parisians, but their sole goal came from a Lionel Messi thunderbolt, and Ronald Koeman’s team do still have a heavy reliance on the Argentinian – Messi has been directly involved in over 45% of Barcelona’s league goals this season (scored or assisted).
This makes the Both Teams To Score market interesting, with both sides so heavily reliant on one player – Karim Benzema has also been directly involved in 47% of Real Madrid’s goals this season.
It is usually assumed that El Clasico will produce goals, but Both Teams To Score has landed in just one of the last four meetings between these two sides, with games played in Madrid seeing both teams finding the net in just one of the last five El Clasico league fixtures.
For this reason, it could be worth siding with BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE ‘NO’ at a standout price of 17/10 with BetVictor.
Real look much more like a team than their Catalan rivals, and with the ever-strong midfield trio of Casemiro, Luka Modric and Toni Kroos likely to boss proceedings in Madrid, it is difficult to see a way for Barcelona to win this match, short of Messi brilliance.
Messi brilliance of course is always a possibility, but should that mean they are favourites for this match? Away in Madrid? Particularly given how well Eder Militao and Nacho played at the heart of the defence for Real on Tuesday, looking more than capable of filling in for Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane.
A delve into the betting archives tells us that this is the biggest price Real Madrid have been to win a home league fixture over Barcelona since the 2012/13 season, with the average price for a Real home win a home-turf El Clasico in the intervening years coming out at roughly 5/4.
With all this factored in then, a price of 2/1 for REAL MADRID TO WIN seems too good an opportunity to pass up.
Score prediction: Real Madrid 1-0 Barcelona (Sky Bet odds: 11/1)
Odds correct at 1630 BST (07/04/21)
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