Barcelona vs Real Madrid predictions and betting tips for their Copa del Rey semi-final first leg at the Nou Camp. Spain’s two heavyweights meet in Catalonia in midweek with the visitors intent on revenge after getting thumped on this ground earlier in the season.
Barcelona go into this one as firm favourites despite Real Madrid’s improving recent form, but there’s still a substantial eight point gap between the two teams in La Liga.
It’s one of the oldest and most-watched grudge matches in football so when there’s an El Clasico on the horizon, people tend to sit up and take note. It’s been a tumultuous season for Real Madrid so far but they’ve shown one or two signs of finally finding their feet following a crazy first five months of the campaign.
With the league arguably now beyond them and a fourth successive Champions League victory difficult to imagine, the Copa del Rey represents Los Blancos’ most realistic chance of securing silverware this season.
The problem for them – as is often the case – is that Barca have coasted up till now and look to still have another gear or two to find should it be required. I think given what happened at the Nou Camp in October it will be difficult for many to overlook the 5/6 available on a Barca victory – and I’m certainly no different.
If the last decade or so is anything to go by then you’d have to admit that the words “Lionel Messi” and “El Clasico” are synonymous with one another. The Argentinian whizz has scored more goals in this fixture than any other player which is an amazing feat in itself given that some of the best players in history have worn the shirt of the two clubs involved.
Real Madrid won’t need any more reminders about the threat Messi constantly poses but the likelihood is there will be one or two more to add to the archive before Wednesday is over. He’s 11/4 to bag a brace which, although not necessarily a massive price, is indicative of the frequency with which he puts Los Blancos to the sword when their paths invariably cross. You can barely get 2/1 at some of the other firms pricing this market up.
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The unwavering commitment to attacking by Real Madrid and Barcelona generally leads to both teams scoring whenever they clash, and I expect this to be no different. Barcelona are never completely convincing at the back when they face premium opposition and the rapid emergence of Vinicius Junior adds another dimension to this already-intriguing clash.
I do fancy Barca to come out on top but it won’t be a walk in the park for the hosts despite comfortably seeing off Real Madrid earlier in the campaign. A 3-1 score line looks about right to me and you’ll find the best price at Bet365.
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Barcelona to win – 5/6
Draw – 3/1
Real Madrid to win – 7/2