For the second time in just three days, Real Madrid host Barcelona in El Clasico. Always one of the most anticipated games in world football, Wednesday’s Copa del Rey semi-final second leg saw Barca win 3-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu – despite Madrid dominating. So what will happen this Saturday? Read on for our betting preview of El Clasico.
A close look at Real Madrid vs. Barcelona odds
The 1X2 odds make Barcelona the slight favourites, with the odds implying the away side have around a 40%* chance of winning the game, compared to Real Madrid to who have roughly a 34%* chance of winning.
Date: Saturday March 2
Time: 19:45 UTC kickoff
Venue: Santiago Bernabeu
Real Madrid vs. Barcelona statistics
- Real Madrid expected goals for per game: 1.79
- Real Madrid expected goals against per game: 1.31
- Real Madrid expected points per game: 1.71
- Barcelona expected goals for per game: 2.24
- Barcelona expected goals against per game: 1.27
- Barcelona expected points per game: 1.87
Real Madrid vs. Barcelona predicted lineups
Real Madrid predicted lineup
4-3-3: Courtois; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Casemiro, Ceballos, Modric; Bale, Benzema, Vinicius
Thibaut Courtois should return in goal, with Gareth Bale, Dani Ceballos and Marcelo all pushing for starts.
Barcelona predicted lineup
4-3-3: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Umtiti, Pique, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Arthur; Dembele, Suarez, Messi
French centre back Samuel Umtiti is recently back from a knee problem and could replace Clement Lenglet, while Philippe Coutinho could potentially replace Ousmane Dembele.
Three days since their last meeting: When did this last happen?
Even for two teams that generally compete on all domestic and European fronts for the majority of the season, having two El Clasico matches in the space of three days is still a very unusual occurrence in the grand scheme of things. However, it is not unprecedented.
Just last season in fact, the Spanish Super Cup, the traditional season opener between the La Liga and Copa del Rey winners, saw Spain’s two biggest clubs meet each other twice in 72 hours or so.
In the first leg at the Camp Nou, then-Real Madrid striker and substitute on the night, Cristiano Ronaldo, scored and was sent off in a 3-1 away victory – in a game that was eventful even by El Clasico standards.
Three days later, Madrid maintained their momentum from the first leg and won the game 2-0 – even without the aforementioned Ronaldo. The goals, from Marco Asensio and Karim Benzema, lead Real to a 5-1 victory on aggregate.
Match report: Real Madrid 0-3 Barcelona (Agg 1-4)
Date: Wednesday February 27
Competition: Copa del Rey semi-final second leg
Venue: Santiago Bernabeu
Real Madrid vs. Barcelona match stats
- Possession: Real Madrid 48% Barcelona 52%
- Shots: Real Madrid 14 Barcelona 4
- Shots on target: Real Madrid 4 Barcelona 4
- Corners: Real Madrid 4 Barcelona 3
- Fouls: Real Madrid 14 Barcelona 16
Though obviously not a two-legged fixture like the Spanish Super Cup, Wednesday’s Copa del Rey game will still be at the forefront of the minds of the players and managers alike.
Knowing a 0-0 draw would have taken them to their first domestic cup final since 2013/14, Madrid will be looking to avenge that 3-0 home defeat – a score line which didn’t reflect the general passage of play.
A smash-and-grab victory for Barcelona, the La Liga leaders had just four shots all game – benefitting in particular from a Raphael Varane own goal and a chipped Luis Suarez penalty.
Ruing a whole host of missed opportunities, Madrid saw several of their 14 shots finely stopped by Barca keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen- before Suarez opened the scoring with their first shot on-target all game.
Scoring twice on the evening, Suarez now has 10 El Clasico goals, having scored a hat-trick when Barca thrashed Real 5-1 back in October – a game that cost then-Madrid manager Julen Lopetegui his job.
Perhaps surprisingly, the game seemed to bypass the normally brilliant Lionel Messi – who had himself scored a hat-trick in Barca’s 4-2 La Liga win over Sevilla last weekend.
Despite losing by three goals on the night, one positive for Madrid was the performance of teenage forward Vinicius Junior, particularly in the first half, who had taken five of his team’s seven shots in the first 45 minutes.
Real Madrid vs Barcelona: A wider preview
Defeat again in Saturday’s game will see Real fall 12 points behind Barcelona, and potentially five points behind second-placed Atletico Madrid – should they win away at Real Sociedad on Sunday.
Having struggled to replace the influence and all-round impact of Cristiano Ronaldo this season, Madrid have struggled to mount any form of a serious title challenge and will likely view finishing in second place ahead of neighbours Atletico as their most realistic objective.
In spite of this, and Wednesday’s humiliating defeat, Madrid’s recent form has actually been pretty good – particularly in La Liga.
Winning seven of their last 10 in all competitions, Madrid had matched Barcelona in their Copa del Rey semi-final first leg – with an early goal from Lucas Vazquez cancelled out by a Malcom equaliser in a 1-1 draw.
While El Clasico has a reputation as being a very heated fixture, the three games between the two sides this season have actually been relatively mild-mannered
A 2-1 away win at Ajax in the Champions League over a fortnight ago represented another good result.
Looking specifically at the last six La Liga games, Real are marginally top of the La Liga form table. They scored 15 in the process, conceding just six.
Meanwhile Barcelona, who amassed 14 points from four wins and two draws, scored 12 and conceded just five.
For La Liga leaders Barcelona, their domestic season has so far seen them go largely unchallenged in their pursuit of another league title.
However, they have been uncharacteristically inconsistent in recent games, and have actually only won five of their last 10 games in all competitions, drawing four – though they did rally late to beat Sevilla last weekend thanks to goals from Messi and Suarez in the last five minutes.
Real Madrid vs. Barcelona: Where is the value?
Where bettors see value in this match is likely related to how they would have interpreted Wednesday night’s game – Madrid dominated yet lost 3-0, Barca were clinical but had just four shots all game with Messi having a mediocre 90 minutes.
Should Madrid attempt to extract revenge in an emphatic fashion, then the game could see plenty of goals so Over odds of 2.010* could provide potential value.
In terms of alternative markets, Cards Betting is often a ‘go-to’ for bettors for derby matches, and while El Clasico has a reputation as being a very heated fixture, the three games between the two sides this season have actually been relatively mild-mannered – with just 14 yellow cards and no reds shown.