On this page you find articles on barcelona and sports betting in general.
May 28th, 2013 / Lee A Jackson - Category:
Newly crowned champions of Europe, Bayern Munich could well be in a position to dominate for a long time. After a late goal from Arjen Robben in the final of the 2012/13 Champions League at Wembley Stadium in London, handed the German giants their fifth European Cup title, the bookmakers have already installed them as favourites to take next year’s title alongside Barcelona.
Not only does incoming boss Pep Guardiola have a tremendously fit and technically brilliant squad to call upon, it is a squad which will be boosted by the addition of Mario Goetze and potentially Robert Lewandowski next season. Frighteningly the Bayern Munich squad could be getting even stronger still and with such strong foundations laid down by the out-going Jupp Heynckes with Pep Guardiola’s managerial prowess, Munich could stay on top of Europe for some time.
2013/14 Champions League Betting Odds at online bookmaker Bet365
Bayern Munich 4/1, Barcelona 4/1, Real Madrid 11/2, Manchester City 10/1, Manchester United 10/1, Chelsea 12/1, Paris Saint Germain 18/1, Juventus 18/1, Borussia Dortmund 22/1, Arsenal 25/1
But Barcelona have already made a massive summer signing, agreeing on a deal to bring Brazilian superstar Neymar, who had before said that he wasn’t interested in leaving South America, to the Nou Camp. What an addition that will be for Barca, who were sorely lacking a world class striker to add to their fire power, especially in the Champions League semi finals when Lionel Messi wasn’t fit and they get overpowered 7-0 on aggregate by Bayern Munich. The capture of Neymar has been a massive statement of intent from the Spanish giants, keeping them trading as joint favourites at 4/1 in 2013/14 Champions League betting odds at online bookmaker Bet365.
Real Madrid, with Jose Mourinho no longer in charge, don’t look to be suffering too much in the betting market for next season’s Champions League, being offered at 11/2. The Spaniards still have a high quality squad of course and a bit of tinkering from whoever the new manager will be, could get them close to the title, after failing in the semi finals for the last two season. The Merengues join Bayern Munich and Real Madrid as pretty much the power trio in Champions League betting for next term.
That is clearly highlighted by the fact that English trio Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea are all well out in the running all in double figures to get their hands on the title. Throw into the mix the extended offs of the likes of Paris Saint Germain and Juventus, then the Champions League next season could well be a three horse race. But the arrival of Borussia Dortmund in the 2012/13 final was a surprise for a lot of people. Who could join the big three next term in the semi finals?
There is always tremendous football betting insurance to take at online bookmaker Bet365 for all games listed in their sportsbook. All Champions League matches get included in their great 0-0 Bore Draw Insurance, in which losing Correct Score, Scorecast and Half Time/Full Time bets in a match which ends goalless, will get refunded. New customers registering an account with online bookmaker Bet365 can get up to a free £200 bet as a welcome bonus as the bookie will match the value of your initial deposit as a free bet.
April 26th, 2013 / Lee A Jackson - Category:
Barcelona v Bayern Munich Betting Preview
Even on the evidence of the first leg, it is Barcelona who go as favourites to win the return fixture back at the Nou Camp. There is the small matter of them not having lost a home European match for the last four years. They are the ones who have all the chasing to do in the game after being hammered 4-0 in Germany. The first leg was all about the magnificence of Bayern Munich, the combined power, pace and flair seeing them take a huge advantage over the Spaniards. Have the Blaugrana left themselves far too much to do in the second leg? They have already rescued a first leg away defeat in the Champions League this season, but this may be unassailable.
Barcelona v Bayern Munich Betting Odds at online bookmaker Ladbrokes
Barcelona 17/20, Bayern Munich 11/4, Draw 11/4
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Barcelona v Bayern Munich Recommended Bet:
The Spaniards need a revival, but truthfully they don’t look to be totally in the kind of form to get it done. Not only have they won just one of their seven competitive matches against Bayern Munich before, they have only managed to rack up one win in their last six Champions League matches. They just weren’t at the races in the first leg, unable to cope with Bayern’s pace and clinical play, and they weren’t helped by Lionel Messi clearly not being fully fit and labouring badly through the game. They do have a four year unbeaten home record in Europe and they landed a massive 4-0 win over AC Milan at the Nou Camp in the round of sixteen, after losing 2-0 in Italy. It is going to take something even more special than that result to muscle their way through to their third Wembley final. The 4-0 loss in the first leg, was their heaviest ever UEFA competition away result.
Back in the 2008/09 quarter finals, Barcelona won 4-0 at home in the first leg against Bayern, then drew 1-1 out in Germany. It’s a totally different picture from that this time around. Barcelona have won their last ten home games against German sides and overall, have a pretty impressive W19 D1 L6 record at home against Bundesliga teams. The last time they hosted a German side, they won 7-1, with Messi netting five goals in a demolition of Bayer Leverkusen. Barcelona’s record against German sides in two legged contests is W13 L4. They are unbeaten in their last 21 Champions League games at the Nou Camp, and their last three home games in the competition against German sides have all seen the Catalans win by at least four clear goals. So there is a precedence there given their history, but are they in the kind of form to deliver? In Champions League knockout matches, Barcelona have won just one of their last seven.
Bayern Munich’s away record in Spain isn’t particularly great, standing at W5 D5 L10, and in winning at Villarreal in last season’s group stage, they recorded their first win in Spain since 2001. Only once before have the two giants met in the semi final of a European competition, and Bayern won 4-3 on aggregate in the 1995/96 UEFA cup. If Bayern get through this second leg unscathed then it will be the third final in the last four seasons for them and they will be favourites. Bayern Munich have now the top scorers in the Champions League this season, and they have won their last three matches without conceding a single goal. Bayern’s record against Spanish opponents in two legged UEFA ties stands at W8 L6. A four goal lead is massive and that should be plenty of breathing space, no matter how well Barcelona turn up and play on the night.
Barcelona have to go at Bayern Munich but they were found badly wanting. Something has to change and they need to stamp their authority on the match right from the off. Would back a Barcelona win on the night at odds of 17/20 with online bookmaker Ladbrokes, given how immense they are at home. But not to quality.
No team has ever overturned a 4-0 deficit after the first leg of a Champions League knockout game
Barcelona have only won one of their seven matches against Bayern Munich
Barcelona have only won one of their last six Champions League games
Bayern Munich have won their last three Champions League matches to nil
April 22nd, 2013 / Lee A Jackson - Category:
Free Bets & Promotions
There is a great Bayern Munich v Barcelona betting promotion running at online bookmaker Ladbrokes. This is a massive clash with the mighty Catalans actually going into the match as underdogs. With Bayern Munich wrapping up the Bundesliga title early this term and looking so impressive at home this season, will the Germans be able to deliver a knockout blow? They did it last season when they took down Real Madrid in the semi finals from a position as underdogs.
However, people will write Barcelona off at their peril. They were on the backfoot after losing against AC Milan in the first leg of their round of sixteen match. But then they turned on a power house display to romp to victory back at the Nou Camp. That was a match which was inspired by Lionel Messi, who Barcelona are really going to need to take on the challenge of Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi final. Barca were on the ropes in against Paris St Germain in the quarter finals as well and edged through. So they are resilient.
With Messi just about getting back to full fitness, how big of an influence will the Argentine be in the match?
Online bookmaker Ladbrokes have a Money Back Special running for Bayern Munich v Barcelona betting in the first leg. If Lionel Messi scores the first or the last goal of the match, the the bookmaker will refund all losing First Goalscorer, Last Goalscorer, Correct Score and Scorecast single bets placed on the match. Pretty solid coverage all round there from the highly rated betting site.
In the First Goalscorer market Messi is trading at favourite for a price of 4/1, while Mario Gomez is just behind at a price of 5/1. The Correct Score market is offering up a 1-1 draw as the favoured option for a price of 6/1 with Bayern 1-0 and 2-1 victories running at odds of 8/1.
New customers registering an account with online bookmaker Ladbrokes can get up to £30 worth of free bets as well to enjoy, thanks to a great welcome bonus in place.
April 21st, 2013 / Lee A Jackson - Category:
Bayern Munich v Barcelona Betting Preview
How often are you going to be seeing Barcelona go into a game as underdogs? That is what is happening here and it is a huge credit to the newly crowned Bundesliga champions. After looking so impressive against Juventus in the previous round, they can really take strong charge of this tie with a home win. With Barcelona struggling on the road a little bit, there could be a massive chance for Bayern Munich here. With the German side having an ascendancy over the Spaniards too, the La Liga giants could have an uphill task on their hands.
Bayern Munich v Barcelona Betting Odds at online bookmaker Bet Victor
Bayern Munich 13/10, Barcelona 9/4, Draw 5/2
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Bayern Munich v Barcelona Recommended Bet:
The German side, who have reclaimed their Bundesliga title this season have been in tremendous form. They have won their last thirteen domestic matches in a row, and thumped Italian champions Juventus very soundly in the quarter finals. This is the third time in the last four seasons that Bayern Munich have been to the last four of the competition. Their overall home form has been immense, winning 17 of their 20 Champions League matches at the Allianz Arena (including last season’s final against Chelsea). They have immense power going forward, and the pace and creativity that they have in their side could well trouble the Barcelona back line. Can they carry their form through and take out one of the pre-tournament favourites? They have just topped the Associated Press rankings ahead of Barcelona, and they look the more dynamic of the two sides.
So how have they be faring in their European encounters with Spanish sides? In their last 12 home matches against Spanish sides in the Champions League, Bayern Munich have failed to keep a clean sheet. They have scored in all of their 13 previous home encounters against Spanish opposition in the Champions League, amassing 25 goals in those thirteen games. They have won four of their five home matches in this season’s competition, the only exception was a defeat against Arsenal in the round of sixteen. Last year the Germans took out Real Madrid in the semi finals as underdogs. Can they fulfil their role as favourites this time against Barcelona? Barcelona have only won one of their six competitive match ups against Bayern Munich (W1 D2 L3). They have never ever won away at Bayern Munich either, taking two draws and one defeat. They are also on an eight match unbeaten streak on German soil though and hold a W13 L4 record against German sides in two-legged UEFA competition contests.
This is a record sixth time in a row they have made it to the semi finals, but they have had their struggles along the way this season. They have won just one of their last five matches in the competitions, drawing three and losing one. With just three wins in their last 15 away matches in the knockout stages of the Champions League and surprisingly out of the four teams left in, they have produced the fewest amount of shots on target. They have completed the most passes of the final four though. How important is a fit Lionel Messi? Massive. he has been directed in six of Barca’s eight away goals this season. After defeat at AC Milan and then being pegged back to a 2-2 draw at PSG in their last two away matches, their defence has been susceptible. The last time that they met Bayern Munich was in the quarter finals of the 2008/09 Champions League, which the Spaniard won 5-1 on aggregate.
This has the making of a real classic and more likely than not, it will be Bayern Munich doing all of the pressing. You can never write Barcelona off though, but there are too many questions over their back line, especially against a viciously ruthless Bayern front line. Would consider a Draw/Bayern Munich bet for a price of 5/1 at online bookmaker Bet Victor.
Bayern Munich WWWWWW, Barcelona DWDWW
Barcelona have only managed three wins in their last 15 away ECL knockout matches
Barcelona are defending an eight match unbeaten streak on German soil
Lionel Messi has been involved in six of Barcelona’s eight away goals this season
Bayern Munich have only lost one of six matches against Barcelona
Bayern Have won 17 of their last 20 Champions League matches at home
April 8th, 2013 / Lee A Jackson - Category:
Barcelona v Paris St Germain Betting Preview
Plenty of life left in this tie for the second leg, with the Spaniards having a couple of away goals under their belt, and the resilient French outfit bringing a threat of getting some for themselves. It was a thrilling first encounter in Paris, with Barcelona arguably the better of the two. But PSG stuck around, got their valuable equaliser and take something of a foothold in the tie to Spain with them.
Barcelona v Paris St Germain Betting Odds at online bookmaker Bet Victor
Barcelona 4/11, Draw 17/4, PSG 7/1
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Barcelona v Paris St Germain Recommended Bet:
It has been over three years since Barcelona lost a European tie on home soil. They have gone 20 matches unbeaten in the Champions League at the Nou Camp, and have won sixteen of those. Their 2-2 draw in Paris, many would expect, should be enough to see them through to the semi finals. Barcelona are looking for a sixth straight appearance in the Champions League semi finals. Their last home match was that amazing 4-0 victory performance over AC Milan to see them through to this stage. In the European Cup quarter finals, Barcelona have posted 12 wins and just two defeats from 14 previous appearance,s and the Blaugrana have won their last six Champions League quarter final home ties. They have also scored 19 goals in those last six home quarter final matches. 23 times before Barcelona have draw the first leg away in UEFA Competition, and they have progressed through on aggregate 18 times. The seven times they have recorded 2-2 draws in the first leg away from home, they have never failed to get through. Barcelona’s record against French sides at the Nou Camp is W5 D1 L1.
This is only the second time that PSG have been in the European Cup quarter finals. The last time they were there, they faced Barcelona and won through on aggregate. On that occasion, back in the 1994/95 season, they took a 1-1 draw at the Nou Camp, their only previous visit there. How vital will Blaise Matuidi’s late equaliser in the first leg be for PSG? The Parisian club have won four and lost three of eight previous away fixtures in Spain, but they did win at Valencia during this season’s competition. They have strung together three straight away wins in the Champions League this term. Interestingly, in five previous two-legged European meetings with Spanish sides, Paris St Germain hold a 100% record. Ten times before, PSG have drawn the first leg at home in a two-legged UEFA tie, and have gone on to win through on five of those occasions. The two occasions in which they were held to a 2-2 scoreline, they failed to go on and win either tie.
PSG have to hold on for as long as they can, and could therefore keep things tight in the first half before pushing on in search of an away goal. It could be worth just having a longer punt on a Draw/Barcelona Half Time/Full Time bet for a price of 7/2 at online bookmaker Bet Victor.
March 31st, 2013 / Lee A Jackson - Category:
PSG v Barcelona Betting Preview
This is a rematch of the 1995 quarter finals, in which the French side triumphed. The Ligue One side also have a long unbeaten record on home soil to rely on. They should be confident for the visit of the Spanish giants. Barcelona remain one of the favourites to take the title, especially after their astonishing second leg fight back against AC Milan. The French will need to get all that they can out of home advantage in this one.
PSG v Barcelona Betting Odds at online bookmaker Coral
Barcelona 4/5, Draw 14/5, PSG4/1
PSG v Barcelona Recommended Bet:
The French Ligue 1 leaders will be ready for their biggest test of the season. This is only their second ever UEFA Champions League quarter final. Still, they are unbeaten on home soil in Europe for over six years now, and on top of that they also have Carlo Ancelotti at the helm, who has won the trophy before (as both a player and coach). In their only previous Champions League quarter final match, they went up against Barcelona and the French side pulled off a victory back in 1995. PSG are on a 23 match unbeaten home run in Europe, that last defeat they suffered in the French capital was back in 2006. It was against Spanish opponents that they booked their place in this season’s quarter finals, edging out Valencia 3-2 on aggregate. But there are questions marks over the French outfit, as they haven’t really performed against any of the top sides in Europe for quite a while now. They are a growing force with their money spent, but are they ready to break through to the elite? PSG have a W9 D4 L5 record overall against French sides, at home it is a very solid W5 D3 L1.
A 1-1 draw at the Parc des Princes against Valencia, snapped a run of seven straight European home victories for PSG. Can they keep their unbeaten run going against Barcelona? Barca, the four time winners are in their 15th European Cup quarter final, and out of those previous visits, they have won through on 12 occasions. The Blaugrana have takes wins in their last six UEFA Champions League quarter finals, and haven’t lost an away leg of a quarter final since back in the 2001/02 season (against Panathinaikos). Overall, Barcelona have a a W3 D2 L2 away record against French Clubs. The last time they were in Paris, they were celebrating in the final of the 2006 Champions League, beating Arsenal 2-1 there. Their incredible demolition job of AC Milan in the second leg of the last round has surely set them up for something big. You would expect them to be getting on the scoresheet. Barcelona have a W9 D3 L3 overall against French sides.
Paris St Germain v Barcelona Head to Head
There has been only three matches played between the two sides before. The famous coming together was in the 1994/95 Champions League season, where a 1-1 draw in Spain was followed up by a 2-1 win by PSG Back in Paris. The other meeting resulted in a 1-0 Barcelona win in the final of the 1997 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup.
Online bookmaker Promotion
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March 19th, 2013 / Lee A Jackson - Category:
Barcelona v PSG Champions League Betting Preview
The draw for the quarter finals sets up this big clash between the master and apprentice. Four time European Champions Barcelona will be looking for some revenge as well after their previous Champions League clash. Back in the 1995 quarter finals, the two sides came together and a 2-1 win for PSG back in Paris saw them edge through to the semi finals 3-2 on aggregate. The draw will produce a reunion between Zlatan Ibrahimovic and his former employees.
Ibrahimovic has been the big star signing for the Parisians as they try and muscle their way into the European elite. Former Real Madrid player David Beckham will also get another look at Barcelona and renew a midfield rivalry with Andres Iniesta. This will be the biggest test that Paris St Germain have faced so far on their rise. While they are top of the French league, they clearly want to establish themselves as a European powerhouse. They will start at home, but even their sporting director Leonardo admitted that it was the worst draw possible for them.
Barcelona v PSG Champions League Betting Odds at online bookmaker Bet365 – to qualify
Barcelona 1/7, PSG 9/2
Paris St Germain have really not proven themselves against a top side yet, although they are a natural counter attacking side which may help them against Barcelona. AC Milan scored a big win over Barcelona in the first leg of their last sixteen clash, but that was built all on tactical discipline. Paris don’t have that, and look what happened when AC Milan couldn’t stick to their plan in the second leg. Barcelona powered their way to a 4-0 second leg win, inspired by Lionel Messi. They will be more than a match for anyone, especially at the Nou Camp. After the way that they struck back against the Milanese, Barcelona will maintain their status as firm favourites.
Both themselves and Real Madrid had their odds cut on winning the tournament outright following the quarter final draw. With that draw, the first ever European final between Barcelona and Real Madrid is still on the cards. Barcelona have had their weaknesses this season, particularly in defence, but over two legs, especially if they get an away goal in the first leg in Paris, it should set them up well against the unproven qualities of the French contenders.
First Leg April 2nd – Parc des Princes, Paris
Second Leg April 10th – Camp Nou, Barcelona
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March 10th, 2013 / Lee A Jackson - Category:
Barcelona v AC Milan Betting Preview
The Spaniards find themselves with a bit of a mountain to climb after suffering a huge blow in the first leg at the San Siro. The mighty Catalans were outsmarted in a 2-0 defeat and the now the tournament favourites are on the brink of crashing out. Can they rally themselves? AC Milan may have to find themselves on the back foot for long periods of this one at the Nou Camp, but will their collective hard work see them survive?
Barcelona v AC Milan Betting Odds at online bookmaker Unibet
Barcelona 2/7, Draw 5/1, AC Milan 8/1
Barcelona v AC Milan Recommended Bet:
If ever they need to call on their home form in Europe, then this will be the time to do so. Barcelona haven’t lost a home match at the Nou Camp in European competition for over three years now. Only on four previous occasions in the Champions League have teams overturned more than a one goal deficit from the first leg to make it through to the next round. No side has ever salvaged a two goal first leg defeat without the help of an away goal before. So Barcelona are in unknown territory here, that is for sure. this is really going to be a massive test of Barcelona’s credentials here. You feel though that if they get through this, then they will probably go all of the way. When they met in last season’s quarter final, Barcelona won the home leg 3-1 after a 0-0 draw at the San Siro. Even that wouldn’t be enough for the Catalans.
As well as beating Milan in last season’s quarter finals, they also beat the Italians in the 2005/06 semi finals. The two sides have met 16 times before, with Barcelona winning six and Milan five of the meetings. At home against AC Milan, Barcelona have recorded a W3 D3 L1 record. There were also two thrilling group stage matches in the 2011/12 Champions League, which produced a 2-2 draw at the Nou Camp and a 3-2 win for Barca at the San Siro. Barcelona are looking for their sixth successive quarter final appearance and are unbeaten in 19 UEFA Champions League home matches, winning fifteen of them. Their overall record against Italian visitors is W11 D4 L2. The ball is firmly in the court of the Italians here though, who can play defence and hit hard on the break. AC Milan have already lost on Spanish soil this season already, going down 1-0 at Malaga in the group stage.
Milan’s win in the first leg snapped a run of seven games without a win against Barcelona. Their overall record against teams from Spain away from home is W4 D6 L13 so they have struggled. AC Milan have won 36 out of 41 UEFA competition ties after winning the first leg at home. Twelve times out of thirteen they have gotten the job done after winning the first leg 2-0 at home. They are a side in decent form, unbeaten in their last eight league matches in Serie A. A two nil lead is massive at this stage, especially with the threat of scoring an away goal themselves. If that happens that will probably kill off this tie. Barcelona’s defence hasn’t been great at all lately, so there will be chances. The Italians though go as firm favourites to lose the match on Tuesday night, but can they hold on and do enough to muscle their way through?
AC Milan To Qualify is trading at 8/11 with online bookmaker Unibet.
Barcelona WLWLLW, AC Milan DWWDWW
Online bookmaker Promotion
There will be relentless pressure heaped on the Milanese in this one, but they have blanked the Catalans once. Online bookmaker Unibet offer 0-0 insurance on all Champions League matches. The bookie will refund all losing Correct Score, Halftime/Fulltime, First Goalscorer and Last Goalscorer bets on any Champions League game that ends goalless. So great coverage and new customers can get a risk free £20 bet as well as a welcome bonus from the highly rated bookie.
February 28th, 2013 / Lee A Jackson - Category:
European Football Betting
We are back at it again for El Clasico drama as we head to Real Madrid v Barcelona betting in La Liga on the weekend. Jose Mourinho’s Madrid were superior in the second leg of their Copa del Rey meeting in the week. While Barcelona once again were dominant in possession, their defensive issues were shown up again by Cristiano Ronaldo and co, particularly on the break. On far too many occasions, Ronaldo got himself in scoring positions and you can’t do that with such a great match winner around. That second leg win in the Copa del Rey came because of Ronaldo, who was quick to punish Barca in their own back yard and yet surprisingly, the bookies are still backing the Catalans as favourites as they meet up for the second time in the league season.
Real Madrid v Barcelona betting odds at online bookmaker Betfred
Barcelona 5/4, Real Madrid 2/1, Draw 5/2
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The two sides took a share of the spoils when they met earlier in the season at the Bernabeu. This will now be the sixth match between the two giants this season, with Madrid having a 2-1 lead in the head to head in the 2012/13 season. So that makes it worth taking some of the value on the home side for this one. Even though Madrid are sixteen points behind leaders Barcelona in the league standings, this will be all about pride, and a reason perhaps why the Copa del Rey meant a bit more to them. Madrid are the reigning La Liga champions but they have had some big wobbles this season and will cede the title back to Barcelona. But Barcelona haven’t kept a clean sheet in their last twelve matches now in all competitions, they are looking a little bit low in confidence.
Real Madrid haven’t won any of the last four league meetings at home against Barcelona, but is the tide turning this season? Barcelona have won just one of the last four El Clasico meetings now (in all competitions). Real Madrid are also unbeaten in 24 home matches now (with Barcelona being the last team to win there back in December of 2011). Both teams have scored in the last 12 Clasicos. Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo has scored in three of the last La Liga Clasicos, while Lionel Messi has found the back of the net in three of Barcelona’s last four visits to the Bernabeu in La Liga. Their influence, or lack thereof, will be influential to the outcome of the latest El Clasico match.
Barcelona have only won five of their last eleven matches in all competitions, and were soundly beaten by Madrid in the cup during midweek. Barcelona have openings at the back and low short of confidence and conviction up front. Probably worth looking at draw as Madrid will have a bigger eye on their Champions League trip to Old Trafford on Tuesday.
February 24th, 2013 / Lee A Jackson - Category:
European Football Betting
Barcelona v Real Madrid Betting Preview
It is part two of the El Clasico Copa del Rey meeting at the semi final stage of the competition. The two Spanish giants played out a 1-1 draw at the Bernabeu in the first leg, but then both of them surprisingly struggled in their Champions League matches recently. Barcelona have ascendency at the top of the Spanish top flight, but can Mourinho’s men cause an upset away from home?
Barcelona v Real Madrid Betting Odds at online bookmaker BetFred
Barcelona 8/13, Draw 16/5, Real Madrid 37/10
Barcelona v Real Madrid Recommended Bet:
There is usually some drama when these two sides come together. There is little love lost between them and usually things are pretty tight when they come together. The last eleven times that they have met (in all competitions) both sides have gotten on the scoresheet, so we can expect goals. Only in two of those last eleven meetings have games finished under 2.5 goals. Jose Mourinho will have a stronger squad to choose from than he did for the home leg at the end of January, and even then Real did very good through the centre of the park. They may well be sixteen points behind Barca in the league standings, but you don’t expect that that will have a big bearing in the outcome of this game. Competitive, this match should very well be. This will be the fifth meeting between the two giants this season already, with two draws and one win each (the wins coming at home for each in the two legs of the Spanish Super Cup at the start of the season).
Real Madrid have won just two of the last twelve meetings against Barcelona, the one win in the aforementioned Spanish Super Cup and then a big 2-1 victory on their way to the La Liga title last season at the Nou Camp. In their last four trips to the Nou Camp, Real Madrid have taken two 2-2 draws and two 3-2 defeats. So we are likely only going to be looking at fine margins. Form has been a little patchy for Madrid this season, but they have ran off three wins in a row in La Liga heading into this cup clash, sandwiched in between all that was a 1-1 home draw against Man United in the Champions League. Defensively, Madrid have conceded fewer than Barcelona this season. But it is Barca who top La Liga, dominantly so, having scored a massive 82 goals from just twenty five games. Lionel Messi has scored 38 of those league goals, and despite going missing against AC Milan in their 2-0 Champions League defeat at the San Siro, he was back in scoring action in the league, as Barca came from a goal down to beat Sevilla. Madrid also had to come from behind on the weekend to beat Deportivo.
Barcelona are the Copa del Rey holders, thrashing Athletic Bilbao 3-0 in the final. The season before that, it was a massive battle between Madrid and Barca in the final of the Copa del Rey, Madrid running out 1-0 winners after extra time. Barcelona dumped Real Madrid out of the quarter finals of last year’s competition, 4-3 on aggregate. Expect a more intense game than the first leg. Barcelona do have an away goal and so Madrid will need to push for a goal, a dangerous thing against the Catalans. Expect Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to be scrapping it out for the limelight as well. Both have scored in three of the four El Clasico clashes this season (both failing to get on the scoresheet in the first leg). Either one are going to be worth a shot as First Goalscorer. The winner of the clash will face either Atletico Madrid or Sevilla in the final
Lionel Messi is 9/4 and Cristiano Ronaldo is 4/1 to be First Goalscorer at online bookmaker BetFred
Barcelona DDWWLW, Real Madrid DLWDWW
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