Barcelona and bitter rivals Real Madrid meet in a huge game at the Nou Camp on Sunday.
For much of the past decade, ‘El Clásico’ as this fixture is known, has centred around the exploits of the two best soccer players in the world – Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. On this occasion, neither player will be involved, with Messi having broken his arm in Barcelona’s La Liga victory over Sevilla on Saturday and Ronaldo having left Real Madrid for Italy’s Juventus in the offseason.
This is always a game that comes with massive pressure for those involved and that’s especially true on this occasion with, against all predictions, neither team being in the best of form.
Barcelona’s 4-2 win over Sevilla was a relief to their coach, Ernesto Valverde, after his side ended their four-game winless run in La Liga. Real Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui is under even greater pressure, with his team coming into the game on the back of four defeats in six games in all competitions.
Real have made their worst start to a season since 2001-02, with 14 points from a possible 27 and it was another unconvincing display by the European champions in beating Czech side Viktoria Plzen 2-1 in the Champions League on Tuesday night – their first win since beating Espanyol 1-0 on September 22nd.
In a game that neither team can really afford to lose and with both coaches under pressure, it could be a more cautious match than usual.
The ‘Match Result’ betting odds have Barcelona at +105 with Betway Sports, the draw at +300 with bet365* and Real Madrid +250 also with Betway. The draw might be the best of the tips here.
Pick: Match Result – Draw @ +300 (bet365)
* Odds correct at time of writing