Get behind the Portuguese! Back
Mourinho and Ronaldo (who both have a point to prove) when Madrid host
Barcelona in the latest La Liga El Classico!
Spanish eyes will be smiling as
there's an assortment of fantastic football when the rivalry that simmers between Real Madrid and
Barcelona bubbles up on Sunday.
There's a smorgasbord of free styling football to
savour and you've got the chance to double your pleasure as the these two
Spanish Giants meet up first in La Liga in the Santiago Bernabeu then again four days later in the Copa del Rey
final over in Valencia. If you like football you'll love these two.
A rivalry we can all be proud of.
If you don't know what al the fuss
is about; you should know that the rivalry is partially geographical; as Madrid
and Barcelona are the two largest cities in Spain, partially due to kudos as
these are the two richest, most successful and influential clubs in the Spanish
The records speak for themselves; Real Madrid have amassed 73 trophies and
Barcelona 70, (Athletic Bilbao comes a poor third with just 32 trophies). There
is also a less substantiated (and less relevant) theory that the animosity is
partly socio-political, with Real Madrid being viewed as representing Spanish
nationalism, and FC Barcelona representing Catalan nationalism.
A special match for the Special
This match has a greater
significance than just points and trophies as Real boss Jose Mourinho will be enthusiastic (to say the least) to
avenge the pain of his introduction to "El Clasico" (the name of the
given to any football match between these sides) which was a eye watering 5-0
humiliation last November. On that occasion Barca ran the show at the Nou Camp
with first-half goals from Xavi and Pedro, then a brace from David Villa before a late Jeffren strike, rounded off the
match, to make the embarrassment worse Sergio Ramos was red carded for Real.
It's home advantage to Real this
time and Jose will expect nothing less than a victory and three points. The La Liga
title pretty much out of Madrid's grasp (they are trailing Barca by eight points with just seven games
remaining) but a win would give their fans something to get excited about for
the rest of the season, not to mention the cachet that goes with an El Classico
victory. Jose and Real who are on a
three-game winning run since their shocking loss at home to Sporting Gijon.
(Mouthing's first home loss in NINE YEARS!)
Glory Glory Barcelona.
Barcelona will hardly be losing any sleep as they are
still living up to their (pending) "Best Team in Europe" tag as they
are on an 11-match undefeated run - winning 10 - since losing to Arsenal
(Champions League last 16) in February. Jose Mourinho has a meaty attacking assembly to pick from with Karim
Benzema, Emmanuel Adebayor, Sami Khedira and Gonzalo Higuain all fit and dangerous. Madrid will be missing
Lassana Diarra (hip), Pedro Leon (knee) and Fernando Gago (groin). By comparison Barca will be without
striker Bojan and defender Eric Abidal, but Carles Puyol will be able to take
to the pitch on Saturday, after recovering from his knee injury. The soccer odds on
this match keep floating so check out the SBR forum for the latest and the best
The stats would favour Barcelona,
as they have won their last five matches
against Madrid, but as Jose (and Sporting Gijon know) nothing lasts forever.
Don't bet on a comeback from Real Madrid though, they have only ever won when they've got the
opening goal in La Liga this term, however that happens quite a lot. Plus the
El Classico is the type of game where they do just that, scorning inside 15
minutes in four of the last six meeting (on home soil).
You may well be tempted to have a
bet on the world's most expensive footballer, Cristiano Ronaldo (dos Santos
Aveiro), who joined Real Madrid for a record €94million (that's $136million) in
the summer of 2009, getting a gaol. It may seem odd but the player (on paid £11
million per year ) who has racked up over 200 goals in a career (and managed to
beat Heurelho "Safe Hands" Gomez at White Hart Lane on
Wednesday) is still searching for his
first strike against the Catalans.
Look to the young man who (legend has it was
named after former U.S. president Ronald Reagan; his father's favourite actor)
to play with vigour and guile that his price tag dictates. Victor Chandler has Cristiano Ronaldo at
23/20 to get a goal at any time, 17/4 to score first (and the same for last),
5/1 to score two and 20/1 to score a hat-trick.
Full match narrative.
There really is a wealth of bets
out there with the Sportsbooks, for example Victor Chandler have 97 different
bets for your gambling pleasure, so
don't be afraid of spreading your cash around, I'm backing a home win (+175)
Madrid to win both halves (+333) Madrid be the first to score (+100) the game
to go over 2.5 goals (-143) Ronaldo to be the first to score (+100) and the
correct score (see below) or you can follow the bookies and go for an away win
at +140.all odds provided by Bodog.
Prediction: 2-1 to Real (+900).