Already the fixture that gets football fans worldwide excited, this Clasico has even more on it as the outcome will effectively determine the destination of the title. Anything less than a victory for Barca, who trail Real by three points despite having played a game more, will surely mean that Real would win La Liga for the first time since 2011/12.
Real have in fact lost two of the last three Clasicos at the Bernabeu, including a 4-0 defeat last season under Rafa Benitez, though that proved something of an anomalous result as it was the only occasion in the last 21 meetings between these two in all competitions that one team failed to score. Real are unbeaten at home this term but they’ve been held to draws by both Villarreal and Atletico, the only top-five sides to have visited them to date.
Barca have suffered shock away defeats at the likes of Malaga and Deportivo, but they’ve won 2-1 at both Atletico and Sevilla already this term. Heavy defeats at PSG and Juve in the Champions League have to be a concern, but the Catalans had a much easier game physically in midweek than Real, who had to go beyond the 90 minutes and had to work hard to keep Bayern at bay, whilst Barca had the majority of the ball against Juve but struggled to break through against their stubborn defence. They should have more joy here though as Real’s Champions League form certainly suggests they aren’t as strong at home this season. While they didn’t concede a goal in any of their six home games last term, they’ve already shipped seven this season, whilst they of course lost in the 90 minutes against Bayern. We’re backing Barca to make the title race very interesting.
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