Sunday marks the first El Clasico of the season as reigning champions Real Madrid welcome table-toppers Barcelona to the Santiago Bernabeu.
Real Madrid vs Barcelona Betting Tips
Both teams are locked on 22 points and are yet to taste defeat in the league – winning seven and drawing one of their respective eight matches – with the Catalans’ superior goal difference seeing them sit at the summit.
While it has been a fantastic start to the domestic campaign for the Catalans, it has been a different story in Europe and Wednesday’s 3-3 draw against Inter Milan has left them on the verge of an early exit from the Champions League for the second year in a row.
Madrid are putting together another staunch defence of their European crown and their last-gasp 1-1 draw away at Shakhtar has left them top of Group F and maintained their record of reaching the last-16 stage of every Champions League they have participated in.
The first El Clasico of the campaign already seems to have a lot riding on it and this one could turn out to be an absolute thriller, as the two Spanish giants battle for supremacy.
Madrid are set to be without goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois for the fifth straight game as he continues to recover from injury, meaning Andriy Lunin will keep the gloves.
The Belgian is the only absentee for Carlo Ancelotti and his opposite number on Sunday, Xavi, can only dream about such a situation as he deals with numerous issues.
Defensive trio Ronaldo Araujo, Hector Bellerin and Andreas Christensen are all unavailable due to their respective injury problems, while forward Memphis Depay is also on the sidelines.
Selection issues at the back could see an earlier than planned return for Jules Kounde, who has not played since the 3-0 victory over Elche on September 17.
Real Madrid to win and both teams to score @ 5/2
Madrid have been an entertaining team to watch this season with nine of their 13 matches seeing both teams score, while they have only managed to keep one clean sheet from their eight La Liga assignments.
Ancelotti’s troops haven’t lost on home soil in their last seven engagements, scoring 19 goals during this impressive run, but that have failed to shut out the opposition in all three La Liga outings at the Bernabeu this term.
There is denying the attacking prowess they have and while this bit of extra quality in the final third should see them overhaul Barcelona, the visitors can at least get themselves on the scoresheet as they are also blessed with options up front.
Poland international Robert Lewandowski has been in impressive form since joining the Catalans, scoring 14 goals in 12 games across all competitions, and he looks a likely candidate to find the back of the net.
However, with the defensive selection issues facing the Catalans, Lewandowski’s strike could prove to be in vain and the value seems to be in backing a home win with both teams scoring.
Jordi Alba to get carded @ 11/10
El Clasico’s can often turn out to be feisty affairs as tensions rise high and the tackles fly in, therefore it may prove prudent to look into the card market and more specifically Jordi Alba finding his way into the book.
The 33-year-old is no stranger to picking up a booking, having been yellow carded 11 times in La Liga last season, and he has been cautioned once from his five league matches this term.
Alba has also been booked seven times in 23 La Liga matches against Madrid, with four of those cautions coming in his last six meetings with Los Blancos, and he looks ripe to add to that tally on Sunday.