El Clasico, arguably the most high-profile football match in the world, is hosted at the Bernabeu on Sunday night- surely the perfect game for a Bet Builder. Real Madrid and Barcelona are two sides in similarly superb form, and these two heavyweights will clash to provide us with some quality entertainment in the most prestigious match in world football.
With Barcelona managing to slide past Galatasaray in the Europa League on Thursday night, this has provided them with a smaller amount of time to rest and prepare for the game, as Real Madrid haven’t been in action since Monday night. Sticking with the topic of European success this season, Real Madrid produced a fabulous second half display to dump PSG out of the Champions League. This will provide them with a good amount of motivation, as Barcelona’s poor start to the season has resulted in them advancing through the Europa League instead.
Previous league form of these two sides is exactly identical, as there is nothing to separate them. Both sides have won six and drawn two games in their last eight, entering this match on the same form which makes it difficult to choose a winner. This game will mean more to Barcelona, as they are currently sitting third in the table, 15 points from top spot but with a game in hand. If they want any chance of chasing the title, they need to rely on Real Madrid slipping up, starting with the game on Sunday night. With Barcelona currently matching Real Madrid for form in the league, the Catalan side will believe that they need to be on top of their games, in order to pounce on any mistakes from Real Madrid in future fixtures.
Real Madrid, as mentioned, are the titans at the top of the table. With ten points to second place and 15 points to Barcelona in third, they may start to assume that the title is slowly starting to be wrapped up. With Real Madrid possibly starting to take their foot off the gas and focusing more on the Champions League, this could mean that Barcelona will be the more driven team on Sunday night.
As we enter this fixture, we see two of the most elite football teams clash against each other, who are both playing their best football of the season. Surely, entertainment is guaranteed. Have a look at my bet builder selections below, as well as the Cheat Sheet, and enjoy some scintillating Spanish football.
Barcelona or Draw
Even though this game will be extremely difficult to call, I’m expecting Barcelona to have the edge on their opponents on Sunday night. Barcelona in flying form with their exceptional attackers, is a more appealing factor than Real Madrid’s possible lineup, as top striker Karim Benzema is ruled out of this fixture.
There is no doubt that Karim Benzema has been Real Madrid’s driving force in their title charge this season. With 22 goals and 11 assists in this current league campaign, Real Madrid have become dependent on the Frenchman to get them out of trouble and be the difference in the majority of fixtures this season. This has been seen recently when his second half hattrick against PSG was the sole reason that they were able to book their spot in the quarterfinals. With Real Madrid coming up against another heavyweight in the form of Barcelona, they won’t have Benzema to depend on. Because of this, I’m siding towards Barcelona performing the better out of the two sides.
With Xavi taking the reins, Barcelona have seemed like a new team. With the points gap to the top of the table largely because of poor form at the start of the season, a new look Barcelona team have started to slowly return to the quality that we know Barcelona possess. With Aubameyang and Ferran Torres coming into the front three, their collection of attacking talent is expanding, posing a bigger threat to their opponents as they start to regain the Barcelona mojo that dominated world football for so long.
Reinforcing Barcelona’s form against top-tier opposition, they have recently beaten Atletico Madrid 4-2 in the league, who are sandwiched between Barcelona and Real Madrid in the table. With The Catalans being able to work their way through and score a handful of goals against difficult opposition, I expect their confidence to be flying high against Real Madrid, as they are performing brilliantly in games where they are vigorously tested.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to have 2+ Shots on Target
I don’t have to do a lot of research to be able to tell you that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is one of the most in-form strikers in the world right now. Flourishing under Xavi and his new look Barcelona side, Aubameyang has been firing on all cylinders since his arrival at the club, which is why I’m expecting him to hit the target on a couple of occasions on Sunday night.
With a tally of seven goals already since his transfer in January, Aubameyang has slotted perfectly into the Barcelona team. Quickly adapting to Barcelona’s style of play, he has found his form and is exuding the sheer quality that we know he has. Clearly enjoying life in Spain, his confidence is flying high and his first ever El Clasico seems like a perfect test to see just how well he has absorbed the Barcelona DNA.
Aubameyang averages 3.41 shots per match, showing just how valuable he is up top and how involved he gets in Barcelona’s attacking phases of play. Averaging 1.95 shots on target per match, this outlines the 32-year-old’s clinical style of play, as it’s not very often that he manages to miss the target completely. With Aubameyang managing to have a lot of shots and attacking chances in this Barcelona team, his proven clinical play in terms of hitting the target will cause the opposition some real trouble, as more chances that he is able to generate means more shots on target.
With 57.1% of his shots hitting the target, Aubameyang has also managed to average 1.22 goals per 90 minutes in the league this season, highlighting his incredible ability to get on the scoresheet since he joined the club. With a high-pressure fixture approaching against Real Madrid, I’m expecting Aubameyang to show what is asked of him and collect two shots on target or more.
Casemiro Shown a Card
With Barcelona boasting a fleet of top-quality attacking players, they will pose a huge threat against a Benzema-less Real Madrid, meaning that Los Blancos may struggle to fire back if Barcelona manage to exude their quality which is starting to shine through. Looking at where some frustration could lie in the Real Madrid side, I’m backing Casemiro to pick up a card on Sunday night.
Xavi has revolutionised this Barcelona squad. Bringing in new players, they are starting to show their elite quality that the Barcelona name carries, as their performances in games has started to become more and more dangerous. As they will feel like they can competitively challenge Real Madrid, their style of play that Xavi has reinstalled into Barcelona is their trademark quick passing and movement. With recent games showcasing the success of this ,as they have been scoring goals for fun, their quick passing could frustrate the Real Madrid midfield, Because of this, I believe that this is where it will be most likely that Casemiro will pick up a yellow card, as he may struggle to keep up with Barcelona’s movement, which is a different style of play that the Barcelona team had when they met in the first half of the season.
Committing 2.45 fouls per game, Casemiro isn’t afraid to get stuck into the action, as he will always commit himself in order to win the ball back when he’s caught out of possession. He makes the majority of his tackles in the defensive third, showing that he feels the most urgency to put his foot in when the opposition start to show a threat to goal and advance up the pitch.
With Casemiro’s attraction to not being afraid to make a foul, I feel that Barcelona’s improved performances will compound on the amount that Real Madrid will struggle without Benzema up top, concluding that I won’t be shocked to see Casemiro end up in the referee’s book.
Written by an Andy verified content writer
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Real Madrid v Barcelona Predicted Line-ups
Real Madrid predicted XI (4-3-3) : Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Alaba, Nacho; Kroos, Casemiro, Modric; Asensio, Isco, Vinicius
Barcelona predicted XI (4-3-3) : Ter Stegen; Alves, Pique, Garcia, Alba; Pedri, Busquets, F de Jong; Dembele, Aubameyang, F Torres
Real Madrid v Barcelona Cheat Sheet
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* All odds displayed correct at the time of publishing *
How to watch Real Madrid v Barcelona in La Liga
📅 When is Real Madrid v Barcelona? / Sunday, 20th March 2022, 20:00
🏟 Where is Real Madrid v Barcelona? / Bernabeu (Madrid)
📺 What TV channel is Real Madrid v Barcelona on? / Premier Sports 1
🟨 …And who is the referee for Real Madrid v Barcelona? / Juan Martínez Munuera 🇪🇸