Ask soccer betting fans with a knowledge of the world game what they believe to be the best rivalry in the world and you will be greeted with several different answers. Some will talk about the Manchester derby, while others will gush over Celtic versus Rangers. Another rivalry that is sure to get a lot of votes is the El Clasico, which features Real Madrid and Barcelona. When you have two of the most successful teams in the world going head to head, it’s always a big deal, and it becomes especially important when the winner of these games usually helps decide who will win the league.
Things are a little different in La Liga this season, though, as Real Madrid are well off the pace currently being set by Barcelona. Real Madrid is sitting in 4th, 11 points back of Barcelona, but they come in as the La Liga odds favorite.
A win here, plus a win with their game in hand can help close that gap dramatically, so they really need to take advantage of home-field with this one. This is a huge game, and it may be the one that knocks Madrid out of the championship race.
Real Madrid vs. Barcelona Soccer Betting Preview & Expert Pick
💬 Our captain @SergioRamos has spoken ahead of Saturday’s big match! Click the link to see what he had to say about the #RMClasico and our recent form! 👇#RealMadrid | #HalaMadridhttps://t.co/GhRjadJQHt
— Real Madrid C.F.🇬🇧 (@realmadriden) 20 de diciembre de 2017
- When: Saturday, December 23 at 7 AM EST
- Where: Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, Madrid
- TV: Bein Sports
- Live Stream: Bein Sports On Demand
- Soccer Betting Odds: Real Madrid -0.5 (Total at 3.5 goals)
- Total Meetings: 235
- First Meeting: March 3, 1916
- Last Meeting: August 16, 2017
- All-Time Series: Real Madrid leads 95-49-91
- Scored Goals: Real Madrid 399 / Barcelona 381
La Liga Top Scorers
- Lionel Messi (Barcelona): 14
- Simone Zaza (Valencia): 10
- Iago Aspas (Celta de Vigo): 9
- Cédric Bakambu (Villarreal): 9
- Cristhian Stuani (Girona): 9
- Luis Suárez (Barcelona): 9
- Rodrigo (Valencia): 8
- William José (Real Sociedad): 7
Why bet on Real Madrid?
Things are not good in Madrid right now, as there are rumors of dressing room discontent, which may be playing a role in how poorly Real Madrid are playing on the field. The rumor is that there is a rift between Cristiano Ronaldo and Isco, with Ronaldo allegedly demanding that Isco is dropped in favor of the now-healthy Gareth Bale.
Adding fuel to the fire is the fact that Bale was magnificent in Madrid’s Super Cup win last weekend, as well as rumors that Bale has already signed a pre-contract deal with Manchester United. Something needs to give here pretty soon, as Real Madrid are currently in danger of falling out of an automatic Champions League spot, which is something that would previously have seemed unthinkable.
Madrid has only lost 2 games this season, but it is the 4 draws that have done them in. They are in good shape in terms of goal difference, scoring 30 and surrendering 11 through their first 15 games.
- Games Played: 15
- Wins: 9
- Loses: 2
- Ties: 4
- Scored Goals: 30
- Conceded Goals: 11
Why bet on Barcelona?
Barcelona is sitting quite comfortably at the top of the table, with a 6-point lead over second place Atletico Madrid. The biggest news, though, is that they are 11 points up on their bitter rivals, although that could drop all the way to 5 points if Real Madrid can win this one and the game they have in hand. Barcelona has been clinical in front of goal this season, scoring 42 goals in 16 games, with Lionel Messi once again leading the way.
They have also only surrendered 7 goals in those games, and have yet to take a loss this season. Barcelona does have one injury concern to talk about, with Paco Alcacer set to miss this one. He has been very good this season, including scoring both goals in a big 2-1 win over Sevilla earlier this season.
- Games Played: 16
- Wins: 13
- Loses: 0
- Ties: 3
- Scored Goals: 42
- Conceded Goals: 7
- 1-K. Navas
- 4-S. Ramos
- 5-R. Varane
- 2-D. Carvajal
- 10-L. Modrić
- 8-T. Kroos
- 7-C. Ronaldo
- 9-K. Benzema
- 1-M. ter Stegen
- 25-T. Vermaelen
- 18-J. Alba
- 8-A. Iniesta
- 4-I. Rakitić
- 20-S. Roberto
- 10-L. Messi
- 9-L. Suárez
- 17-P. Alcácer
Expert Soccer Betting Pick & Score Prediction
The El Clasico game is always circled on the calendar of football fans the world over, and this one may well be one of the more crucial in recent memory, especially if you are a fan of Real Madrid. I would not be surprised to see this one end in a draw.
Score: Real Madrid 1 – Barcelona 1