Real Madrid vs Barcelona: Guardiola to finally lose to rivals

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Real Madrid may have never beaten a Barcelona team managed by Pep Guardiola inside 90 minutes of a football match, but this could be all set to change at the Bernabeu this season.

The gulf between the two Spanish giants has been noticeably large in recent seasons, with Jose Mourinho often resorting to bully-boy tactics in search of a result.

This has not worked on the whole, but there are signs that the gap in class between the two has substantially reduced and some would argue there is now no gap at all.

Real Madrid have won all six La Liga home games this season, with Mourinho now starting to draw the best out of strike duo Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuain.

Meanwhile, there is definitely the belief that the club are performing more like a team, rather than simply relying on Cristiano Ronaldo to swing a game in their favour with a moment of magic.

One of the big differences at Real Madrid this season has been their use of full backs on the attack and this could be a big asset against a Barcelona team known for the attacking instincts of their own full backs.

Real Madrid could find great joy on the counter attack, especially if Xabi Alonso is given time to quickly spread play and Ronaldo is allowed space to cause problems in.

It is 11/8 that Real Madrid beat Barcelona to move six points clear at the top of La Liga while still retaining a game in hand.

For all the small problems that Barcelona have had this season, they are still arguably the best team in the world when getting their formation and tactics right.

Guardiola will undoubtedly have his players up for the occasion and a defeat would virtually make it impossible for them to catch Real Madrid in the title race although we are only just in December.

If Barcelona can weather the early storm, then it is certainly a valid argument that 17/10 is a massive price that they triumph.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.