Real Madrid vs Barcelona, El Clasico, the biggest football match in the world will be played on Sunday 23rd of April on Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid.
Real Madrid vs Barcelona, the match better known as “El Clasico” will seize the football watching world on Sunday 23rd of April. This match is a do or die situation for Barcelona, as they got eliminated from the Champions League at the quarterfinal stage vs Juventus. But more importantly Real Madrid are 3 points ahead with one match less played, making it a potential 6 point lead. Only victory will do for Barcelona, and even then the title is not on their hands. Real Madrid on the other hand advanced to the semifinal stage of Champions League, after highly controversial Real Madrid v Bayern Munich match. They lead La Liga with 3 points advantage over Barcelona, who has played 1 match more. The La Liga title is Real Madrid’s to lose, sort to say. Same to lesser extent could be said about UCL.
Real Madrid vs Barcelona, simply put; The biggest football match in the world. El Clasico (especially this 2nd match-up), usually is the La Liga title deciding battle of the best league in the world (personal opinion), between two of the best teams in the world. And inevitably the attention most of the times is on the best two players in the history of football; Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid and Lionel Messi of Barcelona.
Form wise, Lionel Messi has had the better overall season, but in last few matches, the most important matches of the season, Messi hasn’t been playing as well as he did early in the campaign. Where as Ronaldo started the season late due to his knee injury in the Euro 2016, he struggled for most of the 1st half of the season. He has picked up the pace and is closing in on top form at the business end of the season. He scored 5 goals in vs Bayern Munich in UEFA Champions League quarterfinals (2 in 1st leg, 3 in 2nd leg).
The only bigger yearly played football match is the Champions League final. Although Manchester Derby has catched up on El Clasico, due to Premier League’s commercial might especially in the Asian market, Real Madrid vs Barcelona still is the biggest football match in the world. Football quality wise, there is no match, even Champions League final sometimes/usually pale’s in comparison.
El Clasico is not always just about football. It is a rivarly between two regions; Castile and Catalonia, rivalry between two of the biggest cities in Spain, Madrid and Barcelona. Unfortunately the match also has strong political view’s mixed in with the football. Real Madrid is generally viewed representing the Spanish nationalism, where as Barcelona is viewed as representing the Catalonia nationalism. To put it bluntly, right-wing ideology of Real Madrid vs the left-wing ideology of Barcelona. Now obviously that isn’t as simple as 1+1=2, but historically/politically it has been seen as right-wing vs left-wing. Politics are never far behind when it comes to El Clasico, but thankfully in recent years there has been very little political agenda on the match (with the exception of the Catalonia independence speeches).
Performance wise Barcelona’s late season has been a rollercoaster. From the unbelievable Barcelona v PSG UCL round of 16 match, to losing against Malaga at the same weekend as Madrid Derby took place, in which Real Madrid lost 2 points. That was THE window of opportunity for Barcelona to really get back into the title race, but they fluffed it. Now even if they would win El Clasico, the title chase is not on their hands. Of course who ever wins the match will have a huge mental boost towards the end of the season.
Real Madrid has had their ups and downs also. Up and until January Real Madrid had a 40 match unbeaten streak in all competitions. After which they lost 2 matches out of 3, and had all sorts of troubles in all fronts. Now those troubles are behind as they are the front-runners for La Liga title as well as reclaiming the Champions League trophy for the 2nd year running. No team has ever achieved that in UEFA Champions League era (AC Milan is the latest team to achieve it on the previous version; European Cup).
Real Madrid vs Barcelona team news, statistics and odds comparison
Real Madrid vs Barcelona team news and manager quotes.
- Real Madrid will be without injured centreback duo Raphael Varane and Pepe. Real MAdrid has no suspended player’s
- Barcelona will be without Arda Turan, Rafina, Aleix Vidal and possibly/likely Neymar. Neymar who IS suspended, but Barcelona appealed to the court of arbitration of sport (CAS) and they apparently see Neymar available to play. Will be interesting to see how this one pan’s out, Barcelona will likely face a backlash of some sort if they do decide to include him into the match-day squad, even if he wouldnt play.
Real Madrid vs Barcelona pre-match press conferense:
Zinedine Zidane said;
“We’ve got seven cup finals ahead of us, the first of which is tomorrow. There are no favourites in this one. It’s a game in which you simply have to work hard and battle.”
Luis Enrigue said;
“We’ll have to be faithful to our playing style and be effective. In view of how close we are to the end of the season, this round of fixtures is crucial.”
Real Madrid vs Barcelona statistics:
- This is the 174th El Clasico to be played in Spanish first division/La Liga.
- Of the previous 173 matches; Real Madrid has won 72, Barcelona 68 and 33 of the matches has ended as a draw.
- H2H statistics of last 5 La Liga matches: Real Madrid 2W, Barcelona 2W and one match has ended as a draw.
- The first El Clasico of the season ended 1-1, with Sergio Ramos scoring one his famous last-minute headed equalizing goals.
- Lionel Messi is the best goalscorer in La Liga El Clasico history with 14, the 1st place is shared with former Real Madrid great Alfredo Di Stefano.
- Lionel Messi has not scored in the last 6 El Clasico’s.
- It’s been 15 years since the last time El Clasico ended in a 0-0 draw. And over 30 years since it last happened in Santiago Bernabeu.
- Real Madrid are chasing their 33rd La Liga title, their first since 2012.
- Barcelona are chasing their 25th La Liga title, or third on the run.
- Real Madrid will be without Pepe and Varane who are both injured.
- Barcelona will be without Neymar who got 3 match ban after his outburst in the previous match (this one is still not clear at 23.00 on Saturday. Apparently Barcelona CAN field Neymar, but they will possibly face a backlash of some sort if they do).
- Over 650million people are expected to watch El Clasico, in over 185 countries.
- Real Madrid vs Barcelona kick off is 19.45(UK) on Sunday 23rd of April.
Real Madrid vs Barcelona odds comparison:
- Bet365 odds: Real Madrid 11/10, draw 3/1, Barcelona 21/10
- Betfair odds: Real Madrid 11/10, draw 5/2, Barcelona 12/5
- Ladbrokes odds: Real Madrid 21/20, draw 14/5, Barcelona 11/5
- Unibet odds: Real Madrid 11/10, draw 3/1, Barcelona 11/5
- William Hill odds: Real Madrid 21/10, draw 3/1, Barcelona 21/10
Real Madrid vs Barcelona Best odds at the time of writing; Best odds for Real Madrid victory are offered by Bet365, Betfair and Unibet. Best odds for a draw are offered by Bet365, Unibet and William Hill. Best odds for Barcelona victory are offered by Betfair. I will try to keep the odds comparison up do date as much as possible. If you don’t have an account already on one the bookies mentioned above, check out the ranked list (of the 5 bookies mentioned above) for best betting site sign-up bonuses.
There are surprisingly few special-promotions for El Clasico, one of the better promotions is a campaign by Unibet; “Place a pre-match bet on el clasico, you’ll get a free £5 bet for every goal your team score’s!” Nothing major, but hey, it’s free money.
Real Madrid vs Barcelona should be a spectacle like no other. This match always delivers, now even more so as the title race is on, and the result of this match is vital for both teams. If there is one match you DO NOT want to miss, its El Clasico. Best thing regarding that, is that the match can be WATCHED FOR FREE. How? Check out how to watch football for free. There are few other noteworthy matches being played on the weekend. Namely the FA Cup semifinals; On Saturday Chelsea vs Tottenham and on Sunday Arsenal v Manchester City. Preview of those matches will be posted tomorrow. These three matches and every other big match coming this month can be found from 24 huge matches in April post. The coming weekend will be thoroughly entertaining when it comes to football, enjoy of it while it lasts!