It is the biggest game in world club football but for fans of El Clasico, it will not be shown live on UK TV due to it being played at 15:15 on Saturday afternoon, slap bang in the middle of the blackout period. Boo-urns.
Still, I’m sure plenty will have more than a passing interest as we provide our Barcelona vs Real Madrid Predictions to go along with a bet or two for you to consider…
Is it really over a decade since this game was must-see TV? In one of the dugouts, you had Pep Guardiola and his genius-like brain trying to out-wit the only manager who could go toe-to-toe with him in a single game situation, Jose Mourinho.
Then on the pitch you had the two best players on the planet in Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, always looking to be the spark that led their team to victory. For those few years, it always lived up to the hype, both on and off the pitch.
Now with the characters dimmed and the matches stashed away on Viaplay, it has seen its importance diminished within the landscape of UK fans. That however might all be about to change thanks to what no-one has yet dubbed, ‘the Jude Bellingham effect’.
The English midfielder has captured not only the hearts of the Madrid-faithful but also the attention of gamblers everywhere as he just can’t stop scoring. It has been an incredible rise to prominence in the goalscoring charts since he swapped Dortmund for the Spanish capital in the summer.
Back in the Bundesliga last season, he found the back of the net a very reasonable eight times in 31 matches. More than decent for a central midfield player. This time around though it is eight in just the nine games in La Liga and he’s also celebrated finding the back of the net in all three Champions League matches. He has been an absolute phenomenon, so much so that here at Betfred, the traders have priced up several Jude Bellingham Specials.
The first and most obvious is we have made the 20-year-old a 5/2 shot to score anytime. Not too shabby that considering he’s only failed to do so in three matches that he’s started out of the 12 played for Real Madrid so far this season. I’m sure many punters will be putting a few quid on that bet.
Three of his goals have been the first of the match and we make him a 9/1 shot to repeat that feat on Saturday afternoon. He’s 14/1 to score and be carded, it should be noted that he’s been in the book just twice so far whilst wearing a Real Madrid shirt.
What is the price for him to score and assist you ask? Well that has odds of 16/1, he’s done that three times already this campaign and our final special is the 20/1 price you can get on him scoring two-or-more. He’s done that twice in the early-part of the season.
That is a lot of column inches spent on the Madrid midfielder but there are very much two teams playing on Saturday and the home side are still undefeated in league play.
Real might be top by a point but Barcelona are third with a record of seven wins and three draws from their ten games played. Both sides are averaging more than two goals per 90 minutes although Xavi’s side will not be overly content with the fact that they are conceding at a rate of a goal every game. You would hope for a bit better.
Bizarrely this is not actually a top-of-the-table clash as despite being undefeated, it is actually the lesser-known Girona who occupy that second-spot early-on in the La Liga table.
Last season it was clear who the best side in Spain were but this time around it is already looking like a much-closer contest. So much so that the results of the two El Clasico matches may well determine which team are crowned champions. That boosts the importance of Saturday’s affair and makes the team news all the more important…
The home side are sweating on the fitness of several key players just 24 hours away from kick-off. Joao Felix, Frenkie de Jong and Robert Lewandowski are all considered question marks although winger Raphinha is looking highly likely to make it.
The Polish striker is obviously the man everyone will be keying in on and his importance to the Barca side cannot be overstated. He’s scored six and assisted four of their 22 goals in La Liga so far this season. So his goal involvement is nearly at 50%.
Jules Kounde, Sergi Roberto and Pedri are all ruled out for Xavi’s men.
As for Real, they still have the long-term absences of Thibaut Courtois and Eder Militao, with Dani Ceballos also expected to be absent this weekend. Expect the versatile Eduardo Camavinga to switch to left-back to accommodate the vastly experienced Toni Kroos in the centre of the park.
The traders are not sure which way this game will go with the three results all relatively evenly-priced. Barcelona are the betting favourites to come away with the points at 6/4 but the Real Madrid victory is not too far behind, at 13/8. The draw, which must be extremely tempting, is a 5/2 shot.
Goals are expected by the traders as they have the Over 2.5 priced up at 4/7 with Both Teams to Score a 1/2 bet. When it comes to who might score those goals, it is that man Lewandowski who tops the market at 11/10 anytime with Joselu behind at 9/5 followed by Vinicius at 7/4. Remember we have boosted Jude Bellingham to 5/2 as part of the Specials package.
Flicking around the market page I fully expected the 1-1 draw to be the shortest price in the Correct Score section and I was 100% correct. 6/1 you can get on that scoreline with the 2-1 home win the top choice if you think Barca will grab all the points at 8/1 and we have the Real 1-2 victory available to back at 17/2.
Bet 1 – Robert Lewandowski to score anytime @ 11/10
This bet is obviously based on the fact I fully expect the 35-year-old to start. This is a game for big-time players and you can’t get much bigger than this.
The Polish international surprisingly failed to score in any of his appearances for Barca against Real Madrid last season and that just feels like a statistic ready to right itself. Should he overcome an ankle problem as expected then I do like his chances of breaking his El Clasico duck on Saturday afternoon. He’s due.
Bet 2 – Jude Bellingham 2+ Shots on Target @ 11/4
I’ve gone to our #PickYourPunt feature for our second bet and I like the chances of the well-talked about Englishman to have at least two shots on target. He is averaging 1.76 per 90 minutes so far this season and 15 of his 17 shots in total have actually been on the money, which is an extremely high ratio.
So whilst two in the game would be just above his season-long average so far, we are getting a good price of 11/4, which has the implied odds of just under 27%. The statistics indicate there is a nigh on 50% chance this bet comes in, so the odds available are seemingly in the punters favour.
Remember the Football Tipsters at Betfred Insights cover games from not only the UK but also across Europe. Check out all our Football Betting Tips at our Football hub.