Saturday gives us one of the best games in world football; some call it El derbi Espanol, some call it El Classico, it’s Real Madrid versus Barcelona and it’s the biggest match in the Spanish league.

As things stand Real Madrid are on top of the table, however they are just three points ahead of Barcelona so this game really is the biggest of big deals. Barcelona may just be three points behind Madrid but (significantly) they have played one more game. In third place sit Valencia, who also have that game in hand on Barca and are just four points worse of. Barcelona not only need a win to make up ground on Madrid but they could also do with getting a bit more daylight between them and Valencia.

Lionel MessiTough odds and a tight pick

Picking the winner in this match is unlikely to offer you a fat return, as a home win is at 7/5 and an away win is at 9/5 in the soccer odds. In this game you have to bet a bit smarter with the sportsbooks to generate a decent return. The table would suggest that Madrid will take this game comfortably but in a match of this magnitude you have to look beyond league position.

Real Madrid’s home form is impressive; they've played six and won six, clocking up 28 goals, that’s very nearly an average of five per game while they have conceded only seven. Barcelona’s away from is less impressive; it reads two wins, three draws and a loss scoring just eight goals and conceding seven.

The last time the clubs met we had a five goal stunner that saw Barcelona take the game 3-2, the previous two meetings between the sides ended in score draws 2-2 and 1-1 - a draw, which would serve Madrid better, is at 5/2, while 1-1 is at 11/1 and 2-2 is at 11/2. The two games before that (going all the way back to April when the sides faced off twice in a week, once in the Champions League and once in the Copa del Rey) both ended with the away side winning; 2-0 (to Barcelona) and 1-0 (to Madrid). You can get 1-0 to Madrid at 9/1 and 2-0 to Barcelona at 14/1 this time.

Bet on muchos goals!

I feel that this game is going to provide us with plenty of goals, looking at Madrid’s last five games they have amassed 23 goals in all competitions, never scoring less than three in this run and scoring six once against Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League and seven against Osasuna in La Liga. Dinamo Zagreb were simply out of their depth in the Champions League (they are already unable to progress to the last 16 as they are bottom of the Group D table), but Osasuna are no relegation fodder, they currently sit 7th in La Liga. Over 2.5 goals is at 8/11 while Under 2.5 goals is 43/40 with the books.

Cristiano RonaldoDespite already being through to the last 16, Real Madrid have a Champions League clash with Ajax before El Classico, and coach Jose Mourinho claims that his team is focused on Ajax (who only require a draw to achieve progression as group runners-up) rather than Barcelona. The Special One also revealed that a number of first-teamers will feature at both the Amsterdam Arena on Wednesday and the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday. "Some players that start tomorrow will also play against Barcelona, but I can't say how many," he stated in his special way. Barcelona have now advance to the last 16 of the Champions league as Group H winners after they made light work of BATE Borisov at Camp Nou on Tuesday night. Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola will be buoyed by his teams display, but knows Saturday’s El Classico is even more important, "If they beat us, they would have more of an advantage, and to overcome nine points against Real Madrid would be a lot to ask for," he said.

Bookies favour the home side, Real Madrid winning both halves is offered up at 11/4 and Barcelona winning both halves is offered up at 10/3.The shortest correct score odds on a home victory are 17/2 for 2-1 and the shortest odds on a Barcelona win are on the same score at 9/1. I feel this game has more goals in it and I'll be spreading my money around on a few different scores. 4-2 to Real Madrid has a nice ring to it at 50/1, 3-0 might also be worth a punt at 22/1 and 4-3 is one of those scores that the occasion would deserve that is available at 80/1. I'm also going to slip a couple of pounds on Barcelona winning 2-0 at 14/1 and 1-0 at 10/1. I'm not tempted by a draw, but if you were to twist my arm I’d put a couple of pounds on the game ending 3-3 at 40/1.

Prediction: A classic win for Madrid, but in soccer betting, take the over!