I can’t be the only one dreading sitting through yet another ‘El Clasico’, can I?
Just four days after Real Madrid and Barcelona were at it in the Camp Nou, the Spanish duopoly square up again on Saturday afternoon.
It’s a La Liga fixture this time around, and with Barca 16 points clear of Real and Los Blancos heading to Old Trafford on Tuesday, I’m not quite sure how this will pan out.
Jose Mourinho certainly seems to have the Catalans’ number at the minute and indeed, Barca have won only one of the past seven Clasicos.
The midweek Copa del Rey tie followed a familiar pattern of plenty of Barca possession with Madrid breaking menacingly and there’s little to suggest that status quo won’t be repeated again.
This is a difficult one to call as Barcelona have been faltering of late and ordinarily I’d be siding with Madrid.
However, the tussle with Manchester United will take precedence and which way you swing may need to wait until the line-ups are announced closer to kick-off.
The Special One knows where his priorities lie for the remainder of the season and even if Real pick up the points, it’s highly unlikely they’ll be able to reel the leaders in with just a dozen games left.
Early team news suggests Xabi Alonso will join Iker Casillas on the sidelines,whileAngel Di Maria is also suspended.
Yet it’s not that Madrid don’t have enough cover to replace those absentees, but more that a determining factor may be how much Madrid’s minds lie elsewhere.
The 3pm kick-off time may also have a peculiar effect on things as I cannot remember a Clasico being played in anything other than the cover o dafrkness.
I reckon this could be a subdued affair but one thing is certain when these two meet – goals at both ends.
It’s now 12 times on the bounce that both have scored, which is something the bookies have obviously latched on to with a price of 11/25.
They are less certain as to the overall outcome, with bwin’s 3Way football betting market putting Barca as relatively long 27/20 favourites, with Madrid at 17/10 and the draw 13/5, and if you’re looking for much more insight, you’re asking the wrong man.
I fancied Real in both legs of the Copa and if this was a Champions League tie I’d be on them again. They won’t win the league and they might not be the better side, but they know how to get by against Barca.
Jordi Roura’s men will be at full strength and they’ll be hoping to have Lionel Messi back after his disappearing act in midweek.
If Mourinho rests Ronaldo and company I’d jump on Barca, but if he doesn’t, then Real can prolong their recent decent spell against their arch-rivals.
With the odds makers just as unsure as I am, there is plenty of good value about and the 2-1 score either way is great value.
Real are a massive 19/2 for that particular result and Barca are similarly well priced at 8/1.
Considering both are likely to score, if you do fancy a definitive result then you may as well get on the over 2.5 goals in the game market, with Madrid 14/5 to win with three or more goals in total and Barca 21/10.
That’s about as much light as I can shed on things at the moment but I will be watching the game live and if you follow me on Twitter @bainesyDiego10, I’ll be posting some tasty tips beforehand and during the game courtesy of bwin’s brilliant live betting feature.
See you at kick-off.