Barcelona vs Real Madrid

Barcelona
VS
Real-Madrid
Real Madrid come into this season with no marquee signings which they are generally known for and has to settle with some of their youngsters in Theo Hernandez and Dani Ceballos who have signed up as cover for many of their starting players. The loss in players was significantly higher including the likes of Pepe, Danilo and Coentrao at the back while also giving up Morata and James Rodrigues in the attacking berths. That means Madrid do not have much bench strength and that was seen in their pre-season friendly where they had failed to win a single game, drawing 2 and losing 2 of their games. The defense has struggled to match up with 10 goals conceded so far including a sloppy one against Manchester United in the finals of the UEFA Super Cup, which Madrid successfully won. Up front, Cristiano Ronaldo should make his return back to the starting Xi after having an extended break due to his participation in the Confederations Cup. Bale, Benzema, Isco and Casemiro were the stars in a great performance by Madrid in winning the Super Cup in mid-week and one would expect them to also continue on their merry way heading into this game. They will look to be missing Luka Modric coming into this game due to a suspension.

 

Barcelona have also been dented early on with the sale of Neymar and will likely start either Deulofeu or Rafinha in his place to start of this game. With Messi and Suarez part of the big 2 still on the Barcelona books; they will rely a lot on them in order to put on a good show. Barcelona don't look like they have strengthened enough in order to say that they might be a threat to the Real Madrid dominance from last season. They have signed up Semedo to sure up the right full back spot which was a major weakness last campaign. Absences to the likes of Vermaelen, Andre Gomes, Arda Turan and Munir means that Barcelona are playing with thin squad ahead of this game, with most players likely to play the full 90 minutes ahead of the return leg in 3 days time.

 

Both teams have struggled defensively for most of last season and so far in the pre-season as well, and that is why I am backing Over 2.5 Goals and both teams to score in what should be an open El Clasico much like it has been in 10 out of the last 12 encounters between these 2 sides.

 

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Pick Bookmaker Odds Stake Result
Over 2.5 Goals & Both to Score Bet365 1.61 10 1-3 WON (+6.1 units)
+13 -7
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