It's the first El Clasico of the season on Sunday and Dan Fitch says Real Madrid are available at a big price to beat beleaguered Barcelona...
"Based on what we’ve seen from Barcelona this season, that looks like a very big price for Real Madrid. Barca have crumbled against good teams and Madrid have plenty of attacking firepower."
Barcelona 2.767/4 v Real Madrid 2.68/5; The Draw 3.8514/5
Sunday 24 October, 15:15
Live on Premier Sports 1
Barca fail to convince in Champions League win
It's a big test for Barcelona on Sunday, as they host Real Madrid in the first El Clasico of the season.
When Barca have stepped up in class to face top opposition this season, such as Atletico Madrid in La Liga and Bayern Munich and Benfica in the Champions League, they have been well beaten. There's also been dropped points in La Liga against sides such as Athletic Bilbao, Granada and Cadiz, who Barca were widely expected to beat.
Barcelona come into this match off the back of two straight wins. There was reason to be encouraged by their performance against Valencia last weekend, in which Ronald Koeman's team came back from being a goal down to win 3-1, in a match in which the returning Ansu Fati made a strong impression. They were less impressive in midweek, as they edged past Dynamo Kiev 1-0, to record their first Champions League match of the season.
Barca dominated, but only managed three shots on target. Fati was a substitute and is likely to return to the starting lineup, while Sergio Aguero also came off the bench, as he regains his fitness. Ronald Araujo, Pedri and Martin Braithwaite are all out injured. Eric Garcia will return from suspension.
Madrid bounce back
Real Madrid come into this match on a high, following a comprehensive victory in the Champions League on Tuesday.
After a run of poor form before the international break, Madrid bounced back with a 5-0 victory away at Shakhtar. The front three were all on target, with Vinicius Junior scoring a brace and Karim Benzema and Rodrygo also finding the net.
Prior to the international break, Real had a period in which they were struggling to score and unsurprisingly suffered some bad results. They drew 0-0 with Villarreal and lost 2-1 to Espanyol in La Liga, with a 2-1 home loss in the Champions League against Sheriff, sandwiched in-between.
Madrid's game was postponed last weekend, so even though they've had a trip to and from Kiev this week, their players have had the benefit of some extra rest than Barcelona. Dani Carvajal and Eden Hazard should be available again after injury. Isco is a doubt, while Dani Ceballos and Gareth Bale are both out.
Value in win for visitors
Real Madrid are the narrow favourites at 2.68/5, with Barcelona at 2.767/4 and the draw at 3.8514/5.
Based on what we've seen from Barcelona this season, that looks like a very big price for Real Madrid. Barca have crumbled against good teams and Madrid have plenty of attacking firepower.
You can play it safe and back Real Madrid in the Draw No Bet market and still get odds of 1.845/6, which would seem like a safe investment. However, there's every reason to be confident here and take Real Madrid at 2.68/5, when a price closer to evens would seem more realistic.
Goals will surely flow
Over 3.5 goals is where the odds start to get interesting and is available at 2.68/5. It's landed in four of Real Madrid's eight La Liga games this season, with Carlo Ancelotti's team having only kept two clean sheets during that run.
Real Madrid's inflated odds also present some opportunities in the Anytime Goalscorer market. Karim Benzema has made a brilliant start to the campaign, with nine league goals and seven assists. His price of 2.47/5 is far too big against this generous Barcelona defence.
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