Barcelona welcomes a troubled Real Madrid team to the Nou Camp for the first Clasico of the season on Sunday, 28th of October. At the moment, Julen Lopetegui remains in charge but his days could be numbered after leading Los Blancos to their worst start to a season in 17 years, with a miserable run of form in recent weeks – four losses in their last six games. Real have confirmed that the former Spain coach will be in charge for Sunday’s game at least.
For Barcelona, the La Liga champions will be without talisman Lionel Messi for Sunday’s derby, after the Barca captain suffered a fractured arm in his team’s 4-2 win over Sevilla in their previous Spanish league match. This is the first time the popular fixture hasn’t been headlined by the Argentine and Cristiano Ronaldo in 11 years.
The last Clasico at Camp Nou ended in a 2-2 draw after Luis Suarez and Messi scored for the home team, with Ronaldo and Gareth Bale eventually equalising for Madrid. The previous La Liga fixture was a 3-0 away win for Barcelona at the Bernabeu, where Dani Carvajal was sent off in the 63rd minute. As for La Liga champions, Barcelona – who are 1 point clear of second place Espanyol, Sunday’s match offers a glimpse of life without Messi. The Argentine has been in scintillating form this season, but Barca must learn how to win without their talisman after being rescued by Messi a number of times already.
Both sides have been victorious in the Champions League this week, with Barcelona defeating Inter Milan 2-0, while Real defeated Viktoria Plzen 2-1 at Santiago Bernabeu.
Barcelona has lost just one of their eleven matches in all competitions this season, and are in excellent form at home. Ernesto Valverde’s side is predictably the betting favorites for this game at odds of (2.03) on SportyBet. Real Madrid needs a win to kick-start their campaign and three points at the Nou Camp would be the perfect result. Real Madrid meanwhile is betting at (3.55) for all three points whilst a draw is available at odds of (3.80) on SportyBet.
The last time Barcelona kept a clean sheet against Real Madrid at home was in 2010. Barcelona looks almost certain to score, having found the net in their last nine La Liga matches. Barcelona to win and both teams to score is available at odds of (3.10) with SportyBet.
This El Clasico will be the 178th time these teams will lock horns in La Liga and their 239th competitive meeting in all competitions. Who will you back to win?