The La Liga title race could take a dramatic twist with Atletico Madrid’s nearest challengers Real Madrid and Barcelona meeting in the latest installment of El Clasico.
The two sides sit second and third respectively in the current standings, with either of them having the possibility ending the weekend on top with a victory. That would certainly shake up their current chances of lifting the title come the end of the campaign. As it stands, Barcelona are the most fancied to be named as champions between the two and can be backed at a price of 3/4 with William Hill. Meanwhile, Zinedine Zidane’s troops sit just slightly behind at 7/2.
It goes without saying though that the result at the Estadio Alfredo di Stefano could be key in the title race then but it is certainly tough to call which way it could potentially go, with both sides in top form. Real Madrid have won each of their last five matches in all competitions, whilst Barca have been successful in seven out of their last eight games. Considering that the hosts have only won one more Clasico meeting in the history of the fixture, they do not have the greatest advantage history-wise. Much like in the title race, Barcelona are the most fancied to claim three points this time around at odds of 13/10 with Betfair, whilst Real are at 19/10. A draw can be backed at 14/5.
One ace that the Catalans have to play though is the presence of Lionel Messi, who is the highest scorer in the history of El Clasico. The inspirational Lionel Messi has netted 26 times in the fixture throughout his career and is once again the favourite to score first at 11/4 with Betfair. Meanwhile, Karim Benzema, who has scored 24 goals in all competitions can be backed at 3/1 to net the opening strike of the game.
Whilst the two forwards are almost certain to play a part on Saturday, both managers do have a few injury problems to contend with. Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos remains on the sidelines and is joined by fellow centre-back Raphael Varane who has tested positive for COVID-19. Meanwhile, Dani Carvajal is also ruled out with a thigh problem. In somewhat better news however, Eden Hazard could return to action and might well be afforded a place on the bench.
Elsewhere, Ronald Koeman also has his own injuries to think about ahead of the trip to Madrid. Long-term absentees Philippe Coutinho and Ansu Fati remain ruled out and are joined on the sidelines by goalkeeper Neto. Elsewhere, the match against Real is likely to come too soon for Gerard Pique.