Spain’s El Clasico returns Sat. Apr. 21 when Barcelona takes on Real Madrid at home at the Nou camp and hopes to gain an essential three points in the title race. If they can’t pull off a win, it’ll likely mean Real Madrid will be the new champions of Spain when the season ends in the next few weeks. Barcelona, the reigning champions, is just four points behind Madrid and a win here would be huge for either team.
Both teams will qualify for the Champions League next season with no problem, but the Spanish title means more to them at this point. Both teams lost in the champions League this week though as Real lost 2-1 on the road against Germany’s Bayern Munich and Barcelona was humbled 1-0 in London by Chelsea of England.
These teams have met quite a bit over the last couple of years as they played each other five times last season which included league games the Champions League, and the Copa del Rey. If they both manage to turn around their first leg losses in the Champions League they could meet seven times this season. Barcelona beat Madrid 4-3 on aggregate in the Copa del Rey this season and beat them on aggregate 5-4 to take the Spanish Super Cup.
Barcelona was once 10 points behind in the title race but after 11 wins in a row are within striking distance. Real Madrid has won eight and drawn three in their past 11 matches, dropping six points along the way. They now have 85 points to Barcelona’s 81. Their last loss came to Barcelona back in December. These games often bring out both the best and the worst in the players. There have been some magnificent performances over the years, but there’s usually a lot of injury faking, referee swarming and dirty play in these games.
Of course, the top two scorers in the league will be going at it. Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo both have 41 league goals to their name so far this season. In total, Messi has scored 63 goals in all competitions while Ronaldo has 57. Both players will be trying to gain the edge in this match and prove who the best is. Ronaldo will have to be careful though since a yellow card in this game means he’ll be banned for the match against Sevilla.
Real Madrid needs just one goal to set a new La Liga season total. They have 107 now, equalling their own record which was set back in 1990. This will be the 219th meeting between the teams, but Barcelona’s Alexis Sanchez will likely miss it due to a leg injury suffered against Chelsea. Andreu Fontas, Eric Abidal, and David Villa will all miss the game. For Real, Xabi Alonso will be back after serving a game ban, Lassana Diarra and Ricardo Carvalho are expected to miss the contest.
Sportsbook William Hill shows the latest odds of a Barcelona win at 4/6 with a Real Madrid victory at 4/1 and a draw at 14/5.