Ace Football previews the La Liga match between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona and offers betting tips, odds, line-ups, and team news.
Long-time rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona meet at the Alfredo Di Stefano Stadium on Saturday night for the 246th Clasico.
Despite there being no fans in attendance, this one may prove to be one of the most decisive meetings. Only two points separate the two clubs in La Liga, with nine games remaining. And with table-toppers Atletico Madrid only a point above second-placed Barcelona, the outcome on Saturday could set the tone in the title battle.
Both clubs head into this showdown on excellent form. Real Madrid should be on a high from their recent Champions League win, but could fatigue and injury issues be their undoing? It’s a must-win match, but it has the potential to go either way or even end in a stalemate.
Real Madrid Form & Stats
Zinedine Zidane masterminded a 3-1 Champions League win over Liverpool on Tuesday to extend Real Madrid’s unbeaten run to 12 games across all competitions (W10 D2), including five victories in a row. Now he faces Barcelona, a team he has only lost twice to in 10 encounters as a manager (W5 D3).
Given their recent form and home advantage, Real Madrid will be confident. The Spanish giants can complete a league double over Barcelona for the first time since 2007/08 on Saturday, having won the previous meeting 3-1 at Camp Nou. In fact, they can make it three La Liga wins in a row over their rivals for the first time since 1978.
A goal on Saturday, meanwhile, will make Karim Benzema only the fourth Real Madrid player to score in seven or more consecutive league games in the 21st century since Ruud van Nistelrooy (2007), Cristiano Ronaldo (4x), and Gareth Bale (2018). However, the Frenchman hasn’t scored in his last nine meetings with Barcelona. It’s his longest goal drought against a single club.
Key Team Stats
- On a 12-match unbeaten in all competitions (W10 D2).
- Won their last 5 games in all competitions.
- Won their last 2 games against Barcelona in all competitions.
- Zinedine Zidane has won 5 of his 10 games against Barcelona as a manager (D2 L2).
- Bayern Munich (15), Inter Milan (14), and Montpellier (14) are the only clubs to score more headed goals than Real Madrid (13) in Europe.
- Karim Benzema has failed to score in his last 9 games against Barcelona in all competitions.
FC Barcelona Form & Stats
A last-gasp Ousmane Dembele goal sealed a slender 1-0 win over Real Valladolid on Monday. It wasn’t a great return from the international break, but Barcelona got the job done. The victory extended the club’s unbeaten run to 19 league games (W16 D3) and moved them to within a single point of La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid in second place.
Now attention turns to Real Madrid. Ronald Koeman, for one, will be keen to grab a result in this one. The Dutchman hopes to avoid becoming the first Barcelona manager since Joaquim Rife in 1980 to lose back-to-back league games against Los Blancos and to keep the club above their arch-rivals in the title battle.
The Blaugrana, though, are on a nine-match winning run away from home. They’ve also beaten Real Madrid in five of their seven meetings in the Spanish capital across all competitions (L2), despite losing 2-0 last time out in March 2020.
Lionel Messi, meanwhile, is the top scorer in Clasico history with 26 goals in all competitions. The Argentine has been superb since the turn of the year and is keen to end his six-match goalless run against Real Madrid.
Key Team Stats
- On a 19-match unbeaten run in the league (W16 D3).
- Hope to win 10 away league games in a row for the third time in history after doing so in 2011 under Pep Guardiola and 2013 under Tito Vilanova and Jordi Roura.
- Scored at least 2 goals in their last 7 away league games.
- Won 5 of their last 7 away games against Real Madrid in all competitions (L2).
- Lionel Messi hasn’t scored in his last 6 games against Real Madrid.
Out: Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane, Dani Carvajal, Eden Hazard.
Out: Philippe Coutinho, Ansu Fati, Neto.
(Note: The image will change to the official XI once they’re both announced)
Top Goalscorers in La Liga
Below are some head-to-head stats on each team’s recent form in La Liga.