This weekend sees FC Barcelona take on Real Madrid in the 232nd edition of El Clasico. Although it’s early in the season the match is already somewhat crucial for Barca, who trail Real by six points in La Liga.
Barcelona Betting Tips and Analysis
The last few weeks for Barca have been somewhat of a mini-crisis. They’ve dropped four points in the title race in the last week after two successive draws, capping it off with a draw with 3rd division Hercules in the Copa del Rey.
In fairness to Luis Enrique, the Copa del Rey draw was a weakened Barcelona team which has kept his stars Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar Jr fresh for this fixture. Andres Iniesta should also return after two months out with injury to improve the creativity in midfield.
Gerard Pique and Jordi Alba both picked up knocks against Real Sociedad, but both are back in training and the importance of the game should see both remain in the team.
If Barcelona score then they will equal the record for most El Clasico games consecutively scored in which currently stands at 22 games.
Real Madrid Tips and Analysis
Real Madrid have struggled with injuries this season to key players themselves. Gareth Bale is out for three months with an ankle injury while Toni Kroos is out with a broken metatarsal.
The good news is midfielder Casemiro could be back after injury – which should help Real with dealing with the potent Barcelona front line. Both he and Pepe could start this fixture but with both having been out for a while the question will be how both cope with the intensity of the fixture.
Both Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have done better away from home this season so it might be that this match favours the talismanic Portuguese forward. A brace for Ronaldo would see him draw level with Alfredo di Stefano as being the top goalscorer for Real against Barca.