Copa del Rey Betting: Real Madrid v Barcelona


It's been one of the smallest build-ups for an El Clàsico ever, with the match only officially confirmed last Thursday night. 

This is the game that in Spain, normally dominates the media coverage for weeks in advance. So the mind-games have been kept at a minimum, with most of the talking coming through the assistants due to José Mourinho's mood swings and Tito Vilanova's continual treatment for his illness. 

Of the few soundbites there have been, Barcelona’s assistant manager Jordi Roura probably summed it up best when he said, "Madrid? It’s very difficult to talk about favourites when it comes to these games." 

Despite a 15-point margin in the league between the two giants, he is probably right.

Team News

Fábio Coentrão, Ángel di María and Sergio Ramos are all suspended for Los Blancos, with Marcelo, José Callejón and Álvaro Arbeloa are expected to replace them. 

Xabi Alonso should return after being rested and Karim Benzema will probably get the nod over Gonzalo Higuaín. With new signing Diego López cup-tied, Antonio Adán will continue in goal.

For the Blaugrana, Adriano, Thiago and David Villa are all likely to make their way for the returning Jordi Alba, Cesc Fàbregas and Andrés Iniesta. Gerard Piqué will almost certainly return to the team after serving his suspension.

Form

Real Madrid took a little while to get going against Getafe, before eventually running out 4-0 winners. In a reverse of the previous league game with Valencia, all the goals came in the second-half. 

The Catalans had to be at their best in order to defeat a hard-working Osasuna side. The club from Pamplona pressed high up the pitch, in an attempt to close down Barça and stop them playing out from the back.

This led to space to exploit for Barca’s speed demons  and they cruised home with a 5-1 victory.

Recent head-to-head

When these two sides meet you're guaranteed fireworks, drama and goals. In the last six meetings, Real Madrid have won two, Barcelona won two and there have been two draws. 

Neither club has managed a clean sheet and both teams to score is pretty much guaranteed at 1.40.

Goalscorer Betting

Of the combined total of nine goals scored by Madrid and Barcelona at the weekend, seven of those claimed by the Ballon d'or's number one and two. 

Cristiano Ronaldo scored the perfect hat-trick again. One left-foot, one on his head and then a penalty with his right, all arriving inside nine minutes. It was his 19th treble in a Madrid white jersey, reaching the 100 goals target at the Bernabéu. 

Another Ronaldo goal is available at 1.95 and he is 5.00 to score the opener.

Of course Lionel Messi went one better by scoring four in the Osasuna game. Not only did he set a record by scoring in eleven consecutive league matches, but he surpassed the 200-goal mark in La Liga. 

It's now 33 in the league and 44 in all competitions this season. More Messi magic can be found at 1.72 for the Argentine to score, or 3.45 for first scorer. 

Verdict

There's so much more to this match than just a straight shoot-out between the two best players in the world. However, it is likely that whoever shines brightest will go some way to deciding their team’s fortune. 

With another 90 minutes to be played, the tie won't be over from this contest alone. Expect a draw at 3.65 causing the battle to be nicely poised for the return at the Camp Nou.

Bonus Bet

The Galacticos have scored at least two goals in their last five matches against Barcelona in all competitions, whilst the away team has bagged a minimum of two in their last eight matches in the Copa del Rey. 

With 22 goals scored by the two teams in recent encounters, at an average of 3.66 per match, then over 3.5 goals is worth a punt at 2.05, or 3-4 total goals scored at 2.30.

Score Prediction

Real Madrid 2-2 Barcelona (10.00)


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