How the Bookies See it:
- Winner: Barcelona 17/20, Real Madrid 31/10, Draw 31/10 - Betfred
- First Goalscorer: Lionel Messi (BAR) 7/2, Luis Suarez (BAR) 7/2, Cristiano Ronaldo (MAD) 5/1, Neymar (BAR) 5/1 - William Hill
- Correct Score: Draw 1-1 8/1, Barcelona 2-1 8/1, Draw 2-2 11/1 - BetVictor
- Barcelona may be flying high in second place in La Liga and assured of a spot in the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League, but their performances have not always lived up to their own high standards this season. They have suffered two league defeats already and have drawn their last couple of games to slip six points behind Real Madrid.
- Real Madrid are unbeaten in their 13 league matches and head to Catalonia on a six-match winning streak, including an emphatic 3-0 victory away to local rivals Atletico Madrid a couple of weeks ago. Cristiano Ronaldo netted a hat-trick in that match and is currently top of the Liga scoring charts with ten goals, just ahead of Barca duo Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.
- Ronaldo scored the winner when the sides last met in April, as Real came from behind at the Camp Nou to prevail 2-1 and end Barcelona’s 39-match unbeaten record. Barcelona had won 4-0 away from home in the reverse fixture earlier in the campaign.
Real’s win in the corresponding game last season underlined how they have become much more comfortable playing at the Nou Camp, and they will be full of confidence after such a strong start to this term. Head coach Zinedine Zidane has the perfect players at his disposal to soak up Barca’s possession and then strike on the counter-attack, even in the absence of the injured Gareth Bale. However, there is no chance of him being overly defensive as he looks to open up what could be a decisive nine-point lead at the top of the table, and odds of 31/10 on Real to win look very appealing.
Barcelona have been installed as surprisingly firm favourites, although they will be buoyed by the return of fit-again playmaker Andres Iniesta. He will link up with Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar in a Barca front line which is perhaps even more formidable than that of their opponents and, spurred on by their own fans, it is perhaps a must-win match for the hosts even at this stage of the season.
The first goalscorer market is a tough one to call, but fans will be expecting the net to bulge on several occasions considering the attacking players on both sides and the history of the fixture. There has not been a goalless draw in El Clasico since 2002 and there have been some astonishing scorelines in recent years, so it may be best to explore the betting on the number of total goals. A price of evens on there being over 3.5 goals in the match looks a decent wager, while bolder punters might even fancy a flutter on at least five goals being scored at 5/2.
- Sports.net’s top tip: Over 4.5 Total Goals - 5/2 at Bet365
*Please note, odds may fluctuate.