Real Madrid might have recorded wins against Manchester City and Ajax in the Champions League, although Jose Mourinho’s men have lost on the road at Getafe and Seville, while Valencia landed a point at the Bernabeu Stadium back in August.
Therefore, this El Clasico tie has become a ‘must win’ game for the royal team of Spain who are available at 3/1 (William Hill free bets) to come away from the Catalan capital with a maximum haul, something that they achieved last season en route to the title.
Real warmed up in fine style with a 4-1 win at Ajax and are actually coming into this match off the back of a four-game winning run, with that dramatic comeback against Manchester City lighting the blue touch paper which has seen them win 2-0 at Rayo Vallecano and then thrash Deportivo 5-1.
Cristiano Ronaldo was rumoured to be “sad” a few weeks ago and didn’t celebrate his goals against Granada although it was a different story in Amsterdam where the former Manchester United player plundered yet another hat-trick and the Portuguese forward is a 5/1 chance to break the deadlock at the Nou Camp.
Barcelona might have enjoyed a flying start to the season by winning all six of their La Liga matches although three of these games have been won dramatically including a recent clash at Sevilla which saw Tito Vilanova’s side recover from two goals down to win the game in the dying minutes.
Barca are a best price 19/20 (Blue Square bookmaker) to claim three points and establish an almost unassailable lead over Real Madrid, although Carlos Puyol could be a big loss after the Spanish defender dislocated his arm on Tuesday during a 2-0 win at Benfica.
David Villa was left on the bench for that clash although we should expect the striker to return and accompany Lionel Messi in attack, with the Argentine the 7/2 favourite to break the deadlock in this match.
Andres Iniesta should be back in the team and it could be at the expense of Cesc Fabregas as both teams are likely to give no quarter in order to win a game of massive magnitude. One can’t get away from the fact that Real look a big price for this match.