One of the biggest rivalries in soccer takes place Sunday March 1, 2020 as second place Real Madrid hosts first place Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu. This match could determine who wins La Liga this season, so the stakes are as high as ever.
Real Madrid enter this weekend in terrible form as they saw their lead in La Liga disappear last weekend and they dug themselves a big hole in the Champions League midweek. Los Blancos sit in second in the La Liga table, but are just two points back of rival Barcelona. Real Madrid could see their season be basically over soon as they trail Manchester City 2-1 in the Champions League and are out of the Copa del Rey.
Barcelona are back in first place in La Liga thanks to a four game La Liga win streak. Barca can almost put the league away by taking three points this weekend and opening up a five point lead on Real Madrid. Barcelona are out of the Copa del Rey, but are in good shape in the Champions League as they are tied with Napoli 1-1 as the match-up shifts to the Camp Nou.
Below is my pick for the La Liga action between Real Madrid and Barcelona. All odds are from William Hill Sportsbook.
Real Madrid (+125) vs Barcelona (+200) Draw (+260)
Real Madrid was sitting pretty with a 1-0 lead in the 77th minute of their Round of 16 Champions League first leg against Manchester City. However, it all went downhill after that as Manchester City scored two goals in five minutes to win 2-1 and take a commanding lead back to England. To make matters worse for Real Madrid, Sergio Ramos received a straight red card in the 86th minute and will miss the second leg match in Manchester. Real Madrid has now lost two straight games and are winless in four of their last five matches across all competitions. Los Blancos has 64 wins at the Bernabeu in El Clasico matches.
It wasn’t pretty, but Barcelona is sitting in good shape after their Round of 16 Champions League first leg against Napoli. Dries Mertens opened up the scoring for Napoli, in the 30th minute, but Antoine Griezmann scored in the 57th minute to give Barcelona the big away goal. Barcelona is now unbeaten in four straight games, but the draw did end their three game winning streak. Barca has 30 road victories all-time in the El Clasico.
Series History: These two giants have met 243 times in the past, in competitive matches, and it Barcelona who holds a slight 96-52-65 advantage. Real Madrid holds a 403-399 goal advantage in those matches. The two clubs have also met in 33 exhibition matches with Barcelona holding a 19-10-4 advantage and an 83-43 goal advantage.
Soccer Tip: I expect this to be a pretty boring El Clasico and for it to end in a stalemate, so I am backing a draw at +260.
2020 Results: 27-17