The first chapter of this season’s El Classico will be opened on Saturday afternoon as Barcelona welcomes bitter rivals Real Madrid at the Nou Camp this Saturday afternoon.
Barcelona two straight wins to begin the season appeared to have put behind an unforgettable summer in which they had to ensure the pain of finishing second to Real Madrid coupled with an embarrassing 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich and the long drawn out drama of Messi demanding to be released from the club. However, a draw against Sevilla and a shock 1-0 loss at Getafe last weekend has thrown a spanner in the works.
They responded well to these setbacks however with a convincing 5-1 thrashing of minnows Ferencvaros in their midweek Champions League opener. Messi looked lively in this game, getting a penalty and adding an assist late in the game for Ousmane Dembele to round off the scoring.
The appointment of Ronald Koeman as the head coach helped to calm the storm. It will be interesting to see how he will handle his toughest assignment to date as he prepares for his first Classico.
Real Madrid’s defence of their title kicked off with a dour goalless draw at Real Sociedad. They, however, followed that up by racking up three straight wins before a 1-0 home loss against Cadiz threw them off the track.
Things got worse in their midweek Champions League opener as they had a disastrous start in their home match against Ukraine champions Shakhtar Donetsk, conceding 3 goals without reply in the first half. Luka Modric and Vinicius Junior pulled two back in the second but the visitors held on for the biggest upset of the competition as they went into the game with a decimated team following an outbreak of the virus in the squad.
Zinedine Zidane has his work cut out as he struggles to deal find a rhythm with his team rocked by injuries following the international break.
Even though the last few El Classicos have had a dearth of goals, they have not been short of action. This particular one is coming at a critical time. Both teams are dealing with injuries, particularly on the defensive end. Real defender Dani Carvajal is injured and captain Ramos is also a doubt with a knock. For Barcelona, first-choice goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Samuel Umtiti and potentially Jordi Alba are all out due to injury. In light of this, we feel there will be decent opportunities to score on either end and we are backing Over 2.5 goals @ 1.76 with 1xBet as our initial betting tip for the game.
Lionel Messi has scored 26 goals in 41 appearances against Real Madrid, making him the top scorer in El Clasico. Despite his clash with the club in the summer, he appears to have put that saga behind him. He has been a great playmaker for the upcoming youngsters. He looked spry in midweek with a goal and an assist. We are backing him to extend his record by scoring anytime @ 1.80 with 1xBet betting app as our final prediction here.
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