Barcelona v Real Madrid Tips: Can Barca deepen Lopetegui’s gloom?
Sunday’s El Clasico will be the first without either Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo since way back in 2007. But that’s not the only thing which is unusual ahead of this game.
Barcelona may be in familiar position at the top of La Liga, but Real Madrid find themselves in the unlikely position of seventh.
The pressure is piling on boss Julen Lopetegui. Can he buy some time with an El Clasico upset, or will Barca put the final nail in the coffin for the 52-year-old?
Victory for Barca is a 19/20 shot, with a Real win at 13/5 and the Draw priced up a shade longer at 27/10.
Six of the last eight head-to-heads between these famous foes have seen both teams find the net. It’s 1/2 for Both Teams to Score, while Barca to Win and BTTS can be backed at 9/4.
Fans of Ernesto Valverde’s side are getting used to high-scoring wins, with two of their last four matches ending in 4-2 victories. Another 4-2 scoreline in their favour here is available at a chunky 40/1.
Messi’s absence through injury could pave the way for youngster Malcom to make his first start in La Liga, following a couple of cameo displays. Philippe Coutinho and Luis Suarez are likely to keep their spots in a front three.
Los Blancos haven’t switched up their 4-3-3 system under Lopetegui, even when the results have been dire. So they’re unlikely to change it now.
Dani Carvajal is out, which means Nacho could dip into the side. Up top, it’s likely to be a trio of Marco Asensio, Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale.
Suarez heads the Anytime Goalscorer market, with Evens for the Uruguayan to find the net. Meanwhile, he’s 3/1 to really sink his teeth into Real with Two or More Goals.
However, it’s Ousmane Dembele who is Barca’s top scorer outwith Messi this season. He could well feature from the bench, and is 11/2 to be Last Goalscorer.
Real’s best hopes could lie with Bale at 17/10 Anytime. Meanwhile, Sergio Ramos – who scored at Camp Nou in the December 2016 meeting – is 5/1 to add to his tally of three goals this term.
Where: Camp Nou, Barcelona
How to watch: Eleven Sports 1
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Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing