Barcelona 3.65 v Real Madrid 2.021/1; The Draw 3.814/5
Wednesday 12 January, 19:00
Live on BT Sport 1
17 points separates Barca from Real Madrid
The latest instalment of El Clasico takes place in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, in the semi-final of the Spanish Super Cup.
Unsurprisingly, it’s the La Liga leaders Real Madrid that are expected to make the final. At the weekend they enjoyed a 4-1 home win against Valencia that kept then five points ahead of second placed Sevilla.
Karim Benzema scored twice in that victory to continue his brilliant campaign. The French striker now has 22 goals in 25 games across all competitions this season and at the age of 34, looks set to have his most successful season. Benzema’s most prolific season came way back in the 2011-12 season when he scored 32 goals for Madrid, but that total came from 52 games. If he continues scoring at his current rate and avoids injury, Benzema should smash that total.
Barcelona were used to even more impressive goals-per-game ratios from Lionel Messi, but with the Argentine having left in the summer, the club are now lacking a cutting edge. Though Ferran Torres has finally been registered, the Spanish international is currently unavailable with Covid.
At the weekend Barca drew 1-1 at Granada. Gavi’s late sending off gave Granada the numerical advantage, which saw them score an equaliser with only a minute of play remaining. The draw means that Barcelona dropped down to sixth place in La Liga and though they are only a point away from a place in the top four, they trail Real Madrid by 17 points.
Eric Garcia went off against Granada with a hamstring injury and is out. Sergi Roberto and Martin Braithwaite are also injured, while Pedri joins Torres on the COVID-positive list. For Real Madrid, only Mariano Diaz and Gareth Bale are currently injured.
Value with Real Madrid and Benzema
Real Madrid are the favourites at 2.021/1, with Barcelona at 3.65 and the draw at 3.814/5.
Though Barcelona have looked better since Xavi became manager, Real Madrid’s price screams value. Real won 2-1 at the Camp Nou back in October when Ronald Koeman was still manager of Barcelona and have largely been in consistent form all season.
Odds of 2.021/1 are easily big enough to back Real Madrid to win as a standalone bet. Should you want a bigger price, consider a Real Madrid win and over 2.5 goals at 2.757/4, or Madrid and both teams to score at 3.55/2.
Holders Bilbao are cup specialists
Atletico Madrid 1.981/1 v Athletic Bilbao 4.57/2; The Draw 3.412/5
Thursday 12 January, 19:00
Live on BT Sport 1
The reigning La Liga champions Atletico Madrid take on last season’s Super Cup winners Athletic Bilbao, in the second semi-final.
It’s been a poor defence of their title for Atletico. Already out of this season’s title race, their 2-2 draw with Villarreal at the weekend leaves them 16 points behind Real Madrid.
Bilbao drew 0-0 at Alaves and are ninth in La Liga. League success is always going to be tough for a club with Athletic’s unique recruitment strategy, but they have proved themselves as cup specialists. They have reached the final of the Copa del Rey in each of the last two seasons and beat Barcelona 3-2 in the Super Cup final last season.
The value could be with Bilbao given their cup exploits and the erratic form of Atletico this season. Bilbao are 1.9520/21 to avoid defeat in the Double Chance market.