El Clasico! A huge match in the La Liga title race
In a fascinating second week of Champions League knockout first legs the excitement cannot be compared to that of this Sunday’s El Clasico. With only two points separating the two sides, the Galacticos trail the Catalan Giants despite being the pace setters a matter of weeks ago, Zinedine Zidane’s men have the chance to put their disappointing result against Manchester City behind them with a win in this match. Should Quique Setien’s Barca come away with the victory, the gap would stretch to five points at the top, suggesting they will push on comfortably towards a third straight league title and compiling misery on the Real fan base as a result.
Champions League action
The league leaders were far more successful than the hosts in midweek, earning a 1-1 draw in Naples, Antoine Griezmann got the crucial away goal, levelling terms in the second half following Dries Mertens’ thunderous opener. They are in the driving seat in the tie taking the away goal advantage back to Camp Nou, much to the contrary of Sunday’s opponents.
Barcelona put to bed some of the questions hanging over their away form in Europe, and won the expected goals battle convincingly 0.7-1.49, it really was a moment of brilliance from Mertens to break the deadlock.
Real Madrid will want to forget their outing on Wednesday, falling to a 2-1 defeat to Manchester City at the Santiago Bernabeu, the Premier League champions were much better than the scoreline suggests in this one.
They went behind to a sucker punch with Isco going on to profit from the dispossession of Rodri, who hung his head following the Spaniard’s opener on the hour mark. The goal only fired City up more who showed great fighting spirit to ram home an advantage to take back to North England with goals from Gabriel Jesus and Kevin De Bruyne. Sergio Ramos saw a straight red card in the closing exchanges, knocking Jesus off balance when he was through on goal, though he is legible to start on Sunday.
Real have only won one of their last five however form can go out of the window in games of this magnitude. Barcelona are in better shape and are an outshot at 21/10 to win with 888sport, but since the start of the campaign Zidane has reiterated that La Liga is their priority and the poor run may only fuel their determination to claw their way back to top spot and put a sometimes defensively fragile Catalonian side to the sword.
Without a doubt Barcelona are playing better than Madrid at the moment, so give yourself a chance and use the Asian Handicap to back them on Sunday evening. Half your stake back if they lose by one goal.