Jose Mourinho asked to be judged on his second season at the Bernabeu Stadium and the Real Madrid manager is currently delivering on a domestic and European front.
His team made it to the Champions League knockout stage weeks ago and Real have been flying in La Liga thanks to being one of the highest-scoring teams in the history of Spain. 49 goals have been bagged in 14 matches – a better ratio than champions Barcelona.
Therefore, Saturday’s El Clasico is a chance for Real Madrid to open a six-point gap on their arch-rivals and gain revenge for that 5-0 hammering that took place at the Nou Camp last season where Mourinho and his team were humiliated by Barca.
Real have won all six of their home matches this season and can be backed at 7/5 (bet365 – £200 free bets) to claim victory on Saturday evening, coming into this match off the back of 15 consecutive wins in all competitions. The defeat at Levante and draw at Racing in September turned out to be nothing more than a blip and there is belief now coursing through the squad that this is their time to shine.
The home side have scored three goals or more in their last six games and Cristiano Ronaldo has managed an incredible 11 goals from his last seven matches, with the Portuguese forward among several players rested for Wednesday’s comfortable win at Ajax.
The former Manchester United man is a 4/1 chance (Ladbrokes – £50 free betting) to score the first goal of the game, with Ronaldo on penalty and free-kick duties, while Mourinho must decide whether Gonzalo Higuain or Karim Benzema get the nod alongside the superstar.
Barcelona might have stopped the opposition from scoring in every match at the Nou Camp this term, although it has been a different story on the road this season, with Pep Guardiola’s side having managed just two wins from their six matches.
Teams are seemingly getting wise to Barca’s style of play and defending deeper against the Catalan side, with Getafe recently beating them by a single goal which means there is a fair degree of pressure on the visitors as they enter the cauldron atmosphere of the Bernabeu.
However, we should remember that this is a team of champions who won the Spanish title last term as well as the Champions League and Barcelona claimed a league double over their opponents last term. There are not many games where they can be backed at odds of 2/1 to win a football match although we can be sure they will be going for the three points.
Cesc Fabregas has been a revelation since joining from Arsenal in the summer and the Spanish midfielder claimed his eighth and ninth goals of the campaign against Levante last weekend, with bet365 offering a stand-out 12/1 about him scoring first. Meanwhile, Leo Messi needs one more goal to hit 30 for the season and he is among the favourites to break the deadlock.