Taking place on Saturday this weekend the biggest derby in football at the moment is at it again. It is not only about the deep geographical and political difference either as it is also a place where the biggest debate in football of the last ten years has been raging. Who is better, Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo? This Saturday is yet another chance to see this rivalry play out, especially after Ronaldo has cleaned up in the awards for 2017.
Of course, for fans it is also an exciting opportunity to make the game even more interesting with bets, so here are our betting tips for the big game.
In the last week, Real Madrid were in the UAE winning another club world championship. This might have an effect on the derby with plane rides and extra games in the legs playing a factor. Barcelona, on the other hand, made it 13 wins in a row.
Erneste Valverde is engaging a tried and tested tactic of letting Lionel Messi loose upfront while keeping it very disciplined at the back. Lionel Messi is on yet another incredible season having taken a direct part in 19 goals this season. More than anyone else by some margin (Iago Aspas is second with 11).
In recent historical form Barcelona also has enjoyed more success than the Galacticos. Their record since 2013 is W5-D1-L2. Much of this is also success at the Bernabeu, in front of the Madrid crowd.
Real Madrid is not having a terrific season. Zinedine Zidane’s side languishes at fourth. While still early and many teams would deem a success, for Real Madrid it is a disaster. There have been struggles with injury but coming into this first classic of the season Real Madrid will be at full strength. Their win in UAE might also spur on some extra motivation thought in this fixture they shouldn’t really need it.
None of the away matches for Barcelona has seen more than three strikes. With Real Madrid likely to take a back seat and counter-attacking role it is not looking promising that this will be a goal fest in any way. If you don’t fancy an outright winner, then 1-1 draw seems good odds at 15/2 with Paddy Power.
Eyes will focus on Messi to get the goals and he has great form against the Blanco’s. He has scored 24 times in 36 appearances. Anytime goal scorer is never our favourite bet but with Messi at 11/10 it might be worth one of your bigger stakes, perhaps a free bet, to get your biggest payment of the match.
Gareth Bale has plenty to prove in a game of this magnitude and this could be his last year at Madrid if he continues to frustrate the faithful. The Welshman has always like the big games though and better priced to score anytime at 7/4 with bookmakers.
For the overall win, Real Madrid are edged as favourites which surprise us. Their price 6/5 with William Hill is not good enough to take the risk against a Barcelona side in this form. The Catalans are still short at 2/1 but with both Messi on their side and Luis Suarez finding new form they have more firepower and confidence than Real Madrid and will win this episode of the Clasico.