To describe Barcelona as a crisis club at the moment doesn’t quite cover the full story of what has unfolded in a remarkable year at Camp Nou. Having fallen foul of La Liga’s wage rules, Blaugrana have had to overhaul their squad completely and have lost a raft of quality players with very little in return, not least legendary forward Lionel Messi who moved on a free transfer to PSG upon the expiration of his contract.
Unsurprisingly, Ronald Koeman has struggled to produce a consistent run of form for a club that appears to be in flux at the moment and not only does their Champions League status hang in the balance, they also find themselves floundering in 7th place in La Liga at the moment, although wins over Valencia and Dynamo Kiev in the last week have eased the pressure on the Dutchman somewhat.
Games don’t come much bigger than El Clasico though, and Real Madrid will head to Catalonia in higher spirits following a 0-5 dismantling of Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League in midweek. They’re flying higher than their old rivals in La Liga too at the moment and currently sit in second place, three points behind the early pace-setters Real Sociedad as things stand.
It’s been far from plain sailing for Carlo Ancelotti and his charges so far this term though as they’ve dropped points against the likes of Villarreal and Espanyol in La Liga and have also been the subject of one of the biggest shocks in Champions League history as they lost at home to Sheriff Tiraspol on Matchday Two. Ancelotti, in his second spell at the club, will be fully aware of the importance of winning his first El Clasico since returning to los Blancos on Sunday afternoon.
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Barcelona vs Real Madrid : Match Stats
Karim Benzema has been in scintillating form in La Liga so far this season, not just with his goalscoring but also with his playmaking abilities as well. The Frenchman leads the way for goals with nine, but he’s also racked up seven assists thus far – four more than any other player in the league. As such, odds of 4/1 on an assist at any time from the 33 year old at Camp Nou look too good to miss at this moment.
Although hardly known as a tough-tackling midfielder, Isco has been incredibly effective in winning back the ball for Real Madrid in his six La Liga appearances so far this season. The solid defensive capabilities of Casemiro allowthe Spaniard to press higher up the pitch in order to win tackles at a rate of 3.8 per 90 minutes so far this term. We’re backing him to make two or more again on Sunday.
10 April 2021 – Real Madrid 2-1 Barcelona – La Liga
24 Oct 2020 – Barcelona 1-3 Real Madrid – La Liga
01 Mar 2020 – Real Madrid 2-0 Barcelona – La Liga
18 Dec 2019 – Barcelona 0-0 Real Madrid – La Liga
02 Mar 2019 – Real Madrid 0-1 Barcelona – La Liga
Real Madrid have won their last two games against Barcelona in La Liga, including autumn’s 3-1 win, which elicited early apprehensions about Koeman’s tenure, but they haven’t won three in a row (in all competitions) since 1978, something the Dutchman will desperately want to avoid.