Barcelona (39/20) and Real Madrid (6/5) meet again this weekend in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup at the Bernabéu.
After a fractious set of fixtures towards the end of last season ended with hostilities between the clubs both on and off the pitch, a more pleasing spectacle on the eye is expected on Sunday as both sides battle it out for the first silverware of the season.
Attention has been focused upon Barca’s activities off the field this week as they finally completed the signing of Cesc Fabregas, but pre-season hasn’t been the usual walk in the park for Pep Guardiola’s side. Defeats in America to Manchester United and most notably 4-1 to Chivas mean the European champions have some questions to answer ahead of the new season.
The one shining light of those pre-season performances, however, has been Thiago Alcântara. Another in the long line of La Masia graduates, Thiago helped guide Spain to the Under-21 European Championships in June and made his full international debut on Wednesday against Italy.
He has also been in fine scoring form in pre-season, scoring twice against Bayern Munich and Barca’s goal against United. With Leo Messi only just returning to training following the Copa America and unlikely to play the full 90 minutes, Thiago looks like one of Barcelona’s best candidates for a goal and at 9/1 to score first he offers good value.
Real’s pre-season has consisted of nothing more than a series of thumping victories across three continents. Whilst Cristiano Ronaldo has, as ever, caught the eye, it has been the form of one of Real’s other strikers that has been most impressive – Karim Benzema scored eight times in seven pre-season games. The Frenchman will be desperate to make the most of a start against Barca on Sunday and is 5/1 to keep his scoring streak running with the first goal.
With the highly pressurised environment of La Liga and the Champions League still a few weeks away, this should be the festival of football we were all hoping for and sadly didn’t get in the Champions League ties between the pair a few months back. With so much talent on show and with Real certain to offer far more attacking intent than they did in those previous matches, a punt on more than 4.5 goals at 21/4 also looks appealing. This means new customers who join bwin.com and stake their £25 free bet on this outcome could potentially take home £156.25.
New customers can register here for that free £25 bet.
Follow us on Twitter @bwinbetting