Barcelona v Real Madrid: Is Neymar the key to win the Clasico?
The two Spanish giants are set to collide inÂ the Camp Nou this Sunday night and with a lot more at stake than the typical 3 points from a league game.
While BarĂ§a is currently going through a hot streak, having won 17 of their last 18 gamesÂ in all competitions (their only loss came at the hands of Malaga, on February 21), Real Madrid have only won a single game in their last 4 fixtures. If we extend the scope of the analysis here, it’s also curious toÂ noteÂ thatÂ the BlaugranaÂ won 27 of their last 30 matches. Certainly a record that mustÂ be scaringÂ even the most confident Real Madrid fans…
On paper, Barcelona appear the pundit’s favoritesÂ by a significant large margin.Â A win against Real Madrid in the Clasico is currently priced at 1.61, while the Merengues are on the marketÂ withÂ odds ofÂ 4.75. Even though it may tempting to simply bank on Luis Enrique‘s men coming out of this game with the 3 points in the bag, there might be a couple betting alternatives a lot more interesting, at least from aÂ risk-return binomial or trade-off perspective.
We’re used to see a true battle ofÂ superstars in these Clasicos, andÂ it won’t be any different in this one… In one side of the pitch, we’ll haveÂ BarĂ§a‘s attacking trio (the “MSN“) formed by Messi, SuĂˇrez and Neymar, whoÂ seem to be connecting better than ever. At the other side of the barricadeÂ it’sÂ Real Madrid‘s mightyÂ BBC, with Bale, Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo spearheading the reigning European champions attack. The list of world-class footballers in this game would just increase as we go through the probable lineups for each team, but for the sake of simply assessing who might be a good candidate to score the opener in this BarĂ§a vs Real Madrid “Clasico“, we’ll limit ourselves to just name the attacking players from each side.
That’s right! Betting on Neymar to draw first blood against Real Madrid is currently paying 6 times your investment. This is one of the very few games throughout the season where the Brazilian ace is handed such a big odd to score theÂ opener in a givenÂ match. Moreover, he hasn’t scored any goal for BarcelonaÂ over the last 3Â fixtures, which means he’ll simply come out into this game hungrier than usual. This season only, the 23-year old already scored a total of 26 goals for BarĂ§aÂ in all competitions.
In the meanwhile and for those who might be interested in comparingÂ Messi vs Neymar,Â it’s interesting to start by noting that this season only the ArgentinianÂ has alreadyÂ 32 goals in La Liga, while the Brazilian ace is at the 17-goal mark.
Barcelona probable line-up vs Real Madrid:
Bravo; Jordi Alba, PiquĂ©, Mathieu, Daniel Alves; Mascherano,Â Rakitic, Iniesta; Neymar,Â Lionel Messi, LuisÂ SuĂˇrez.
Real MadridÂ probable line-up vs Barcelona:
Iker Casillas; Marcelo, Pepe,Â Sergio Ramos, Carvajal; Kroos, Modric, Isco; Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema.
Sources: skysports.com / fcbarcelona.com / realmadrid.com