Tuesday December 17 2019
Barcelona and Real Madrid set for crucial El Clasico clash

Wednesday night sees the first El Clasico of the season between Barcelona and Real Madrid - David Whitworth previews club football's biggest match.

Barcelona take on Real Madrid this Wednesday evening in their rearranged La Liga clash. Initially postponed due to civil unrest in Catalonia, the first El Clasico of the season is now a pre-Christmas treat. Coaches Zinedine Zidane and Ernesto Valverde will be calculating how to collect three priceless points from this latest duel between the two Spanish giants - staged at the historic 98,000 plus Camp Nou.

Barcelona arrive with four wins in five matches and on the back of an entertaining draw against Real Sociedad at Anoeta while Real Madrid also have four wins from their last five games and on Sunday secured a last-gasp equaliser against Valencia at Mestalla thanks to Karim Benzema’s strike. Both teams are deadlocked at summit of La Liga with 35 points while the goal difference shows a small margin of 23 in favour of Barcelona - two better than Real Madrid.Ahead of such an anticipated encounter, you can find all the betting odds on Netbet.

A key battle will be the duel between La Liga’s kingpins - Barcelona spearheaded by their mercurial magician Lionel Messi - plundering 12 goals in 11 La Liga games to lead the goalscoring charts. He is also the leader of all-time goals in El Clásico with 26 strikes in his 19 years of playing. Los Blancos on the other hand will look to their new talisman and a man who can do no wrong at the moment - Benzema, who is in a rich vein of form with 12 goals in 15 appearances to date. Two other players on form to look out for include Barca’s marksman Luis Suárez and Real Madrid’s midfield dynamo Fede Valverde.

The tale of the tape for these heavyweights reads Barcelona and Real Madrid remarkably level with 72 wins apiece and 34 draws from 178 matches in La Liga. Barcelona marginally scoring more goals with 288 to Madrid’s 286 in Clásico meetings. Their last duel in March ended in a slender away victory for Barca as Ivan Rakitić netted the game’s only goal. The corresponding fixture at Camp Nou in October 2018 ended in a thumping 5-1 win for Barcelona with Suárez running riot and bagging himself an historic hat trick - the 28th time a treble had been netted in El Clásico.

Both eternal rivals enter the derby in strong form and this match is very much on a knife edge with so little to choose between the two. A solid prediction says it could be an evenly-matched classic. With all at stake and as is always captivating when football’s stars align, the question remains which team can land the most punches, and which will ultimately land the knockout blow come the final whistle?

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