This Saturday evening witness the one of the biggest football fiesta in Spanish La Liga when Real Madrid host Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium at 17:15 GMT in the first El Classico derby of the season.
Real Madrid come into this match, sitting 2nd in the league table with 24 points after 11 matches. The Los Blancos had made a moderate start to their campaign this season and despite boasting of a strong defensive record, they came under fire as Sevilla beat them by 3-2 in the last outing. The score line hardly suggests the poor collective form of the team in recent weeks.
The defending champions Barcelona are on a strong run in the league and sit at the top of the table with 27 points, 3-clear of their biggest rivals Real Madrid. Their 3-0 victory over Villarreal was their 4th league win in a row and with the likes of Neymar and Suarez on top form, they provide a tough test to Real Madrid on Saturday evening.
Real Madrid vs Barcelona : Head-to-Head Stats
Barcelona hold a superior record over Real Madrid in recent seasons and can boast of beating the Los Blancos, both home and away in various occasions.
The stats are all against Real Madrid here and they have only won two (2) of their last seven La Liga home games against Barcelona, while they draw in one (1) and lost four (4).
In the last 12 meetings between the sides in all competitions played at Santiago Bernebeu, Barcelona has 6 wins to their name, while there were three draws and Madrid won in three.
Real Madrid – Team News
Real Madrid will be boosted by the return of BBC to their starting line-up after Karim Benzema has been declared fully fit. Sergio Ramos has been recovered from the injury suffered against Sevilla and is expected to partner Raphael Varane at the center of the defense.
In a much expected tactical switch, Casemiro and Isco may be sacrificed to make room for James Rodriguez, who will be deployed on the flanks alongside Ronaldo with Bale in a free role at the center of attacking third.
Real Madrid – Predicted Line-up
Barcelona – Team News
Lionel Messi is expected to start this big match after spending a lengthy spell on the sidelines due to injury, but he is unlikely to complete the full 90 minutes.
Ivan Rakitic is a major doubt after picking up a knock in his previous match, but Javier Mascherano will be welcomed back to the starting line-up after completing his one match suspension and will slot in alongside Andres Iniesta and Sergio Busquets to form the midfield trio.
Barcelona – Predicted Line-up
Prediction and Betting Tips
Sevilla put an end to Real Madrid’s unbeaten run in La Liga record, but they have can still boast of a strong defense with the return of Captain Ramos. The major worry for the Los Blancos will be the form of Ronaldo, who has looked out of touch in all sorts in the last three matches.
Barcelona on the other side has managed to rise up to the occasion for this particular tie in recent seasons and have found a way to edge wins even when they are struggling. The spotlight must be on the partnership of Neymar and Suarez, who had done wonderfully well in the in the absence of Messi.
With Messi himself coming back to the starting line-up, Barcelona may prove to be a tall order for Real Madrid after seeing them struggle against the likes of PSG and Atletico Madrid.
For those who bet on this match, a safer option to pick both teams to score and also, there has been over 2.5 goals in the last 5 outings.