Real Madrid host Barcelona in the latest edition of El Clasico on Sunday, knowing that a victory over their rivals would be a significant step towards a first La Liga title since 2011/12. Zinedine Zidane’s side are three points ahead of Barcelona, with a game in hand ahead of Sunday’s game.
It could be a brilliant week for Real Madrid who beat Bayern Munich on Tuesday to qualify for the semi-finals of this season’s Champions League. Another victory on Sunday night will see them continue on their march to La Liga and could open up an unassailable six point lead with six games of the season remaining. Los Blancos have shown the depth of their squad in recent weeks, with consistent rotation after Champions League matches. They’ve narrowly beaten Sporting Gijon and Real Betis using their reserves and it’s testament to their fitness levels that they can produce late winners.
Barcelona meanwhile are in what could only be described as turmoil, following their elimination in the Champions League to Juventus in midweek. Furthermore, their record in games following Champions League games is not impressive. They lost to Deportivo following their victory over Paris St. Germain and required a Lionel Messi in stoppage time to defeat Leganes.
Real Madrid vs. Barcelona Predictions
It’s hard to see past Real Madrid in this match. Zidane’s side have a big-match mentality about them and could see this one out. Expect goals though as both teams have world class attackers and are prolific in front of the net.
Real Madrid vs. Barcelona Betting Tips
- Real Madrid to win: 11/10
- Draw: 29/10
- Barcelona to win: 23/10
- Cristiano Ronaldo to score first: 3/1
- Karim Benzema to score first: 7/2
- Luis Suarez to score anytime: 11/10
Head to Head
- Real Madrid have beaten Barcelona the most often in La Liga history (72), while Barcelona are the team that have beaten Real Madrid the most (68).
- Real Madrid have not lost in the last two meetings between the two teams (W1 D1), their best unbeaten run against Barcelona since March 2013, with Mourinho as manager.
- Real Madrid have scored in each of their last 43 La Liga games. Only Barcelona in 2013 have had a longer streak than this, scoring in 64 consecutive games.
- Barcelona have scored in their last 22 games in all competitions against Real Madrid, the best run of a side in El Clasico history.
- Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 16 goals in El Clasico in all competitions. Only Alfredo Di Stefano (18) and Lionel Messi (21) have scored more.
- Luis Suarez has scored four goals against Real Madrid in La Liga since he joined Barcelona in 2014/15, more than any other player.
- Karim Benzema has scored five goals in his last five El Clasico games at the Santiago Bernabeu in La Liga.
Real Madrid Team News
Gareth Bale faces a race to be fit for the game as he recovers from a calf injury. Pepe and Raphael Varane will both miss out, although Varane returned to training this week.
Toni Kroos and Dani Carvajal both suffered from muscle problems during the game against Bayern Munich in midweek, but both are expected to be available.
Possible starting XI: Navas, Carvajal, Ramos, Nacho, Marcelo, Modric, Casemiro, Kroos, Isco, Benzema, Ronaldo
Barcelona Team News
Neymar is serving a suspension after being sent off against Malaga, with Paco Alcacer likely to replace him. Arda Turan failed to recover from a groin injury in time for the game against Juventus, but could make the bench. Rafinha and Aleix Vidal both miss out.
Poential starting XI: Ter Stegen, Sergi Roberto, Pique, Umtiti, Alba, Rakitic, Busquets, Iniesta, Messi, Suarez, Alcacer