One of football’s fiercest rivalries will add another chapter when Real Madrid host Barcelona in the first leg of their Copa del Rey semifinal on Thursday, March 2.
Barca have enjoyed a greater season domestically to date, leading La Liga and beating Los Blancos in the recent Supercopa de Espana final, so Real Madrid will be eager to level the ledger.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side drew 1-1 with Atletico Madrid last time out but arrive in better form than Xavi’s team who have lost their last two games.
With a chance of more silverware on the line, this match should prove to be another worthy El Clasico entry.
MORE: When is every El Clasico this season?
Real Madrid vs Barcelona odds
As they visit the city of Madrid, Barcelona come into the Bernabeu as clear underdogs despite their advantage atop the table. While Real Madrid started with even-money odds, they’ve seen a bit of line movement in their favour, now sitting as slight minus-odds favourites.
Goals were expected flow with both teams capable of producing magic in the final third, but the late movement has seen that expectation quelled significantly. Given it’s a first leg, the betting market clearly now believes there is a fair chance this match is fairly cagey as neither side completely goes for it.
|Real Madrid win||-115||-151||17/20||1.87|
to score Y / N
|-120 / -120||-125 / -125||8/11, 1/1||1.83 / 1.87|
|Over / Under
|-105 / -135||-102 / -130||10/11, 4/5||2.02 / 1.75|
|Real Madrid advance||-145||—||8/11||—|
Real Madrid vs Barcelona: 3 things to know
Real Madrid vs Barcelona match facts
- Date: Thursday, March 2
- Kickoff Time: 3:00 pm ET / 8:00 pm GMT / 7:00 am AEDT (Fri, Mar. 3)
- Location: Estadio Santiago Bernabeu (Madrid, Spain)
- Official: Jose Luis Munuera Montero
Real Madrid vs Barcelona team news
Los Blancos are not in any injury trouble as they contest this semifinal first leg. Ferland Mendy is close to a return from his hamstring injury, but was not included in the matchday squad. David Alaba has a hamstring injury to deal with as well, and he will be out for at least a few weeks, if not all of March. Otherwise, the entire Real Madrid lineup is available, including Karim Benzema who has missed time throughout the season as Carlo Ancelotti manages his minutes.
For Barcelona, the injured list isn’t exactly long, but the few players missing are critical components of the everyday lineup. Talisman striker Robert Lewandowski is out with a hamstring injury suffered in their weekend match against Almeria and will be shelved for two weeks. Young midfielder Pedri is also absent, having gone down in the Europa League match against Manchester United with his own hamstring injury, and Ousmane Dembele is shelved for another few weeks as well.
MORE: Updated Premier League table with title, Champions League, and relegation race breakdowns
Real Madrid vs Barcelona key stats
- In three matches against Spanish opposition without Robert Lewandowski this season, Barcelona have won all three matches by a 1-0 scoreline each time.
- Real Madrid have been eliminated in three of the last four two-legged matchups against Barcelona in the Copa del Rey.
- Barcelona won the last El Clasico 3-1 in the Supercopa de Espana final, but two of the Barcelona goalscorers in that match, Pedri and Lewandowski, will be unavailable for this game.
Real Madrid vs Barcelona prediction
- Moneyline lean: Real Madrid (+100)
- Score prediction: Real Madrid 2-1 Barcelona
Being a first leg, this match could get cagey, especially given Barcelona’s domestic defensive record this season. Yet the personnel situation swings heavily in the favour of the hosts, and that will make a huge difference in this match. While Barcelona are missing three key players, Real Madrid get Aurelien Tchouameni back from the last time these two teams face off.
Ultimately, Real Madrid should find a way through the Barcelona back line, and give themselves an early first-leg lead, although it won’t be the blowout they are hoping for, and it will still leave things very undecided going to the Camp Nou in one month’s time.
Real Madrid vs Barcelona: best bet
- Pick: Under 8.5 total corners
- Odds: +105 (BetMGM)
Normally in games between these two teams, I’d hop all over both teams to score, but in the first of two legs, things can often get bogged down. I think both teams will score, but I’m not confident enough to bet it here at minus odds.
Understanding that we aren’t confident about the goalscoring aspect of this game, there are other ways of betting game flow. These two teams lead La Liga in corners accumulated, but that means little in this matchup as the two often play matches in which they control significant amounts of attacking possession. Here, that won’t be the case for either side.
The last three El Clasicos have all gone under the corner total, and since the start of January, neither side has dominated La Liga play from a corner count perspective like the did earlier in the year. These teams will try to battle things out in midfield before they play in a significantly vertical manner.
Real Madrid vs Barcelona prop bet
- Pick: Federico Valverde 1+ shot on target from outside the box
- Odds: +105 (FanDuel)
While Federico Valverde is often overlooked in the Real Madrid squad loaded with great players, he is primed for a great game against one of his favorite opponents.
Valverde has scored three goals against Barcelona in his 12 career matches, more than any single opponent, and all of those goals have come in his last seven meetings against Madrid’s chief rival. While Valverde’s explosive start to the season has cooled significantly, he has been involved in the attack more over the past few weeks, firing off 17 shots in the last six league games.
Yet those 17 shots have combined for an xG total of just 0.86, or just 0.05 xG per hit. As he struggles to find good goalscoring chances, taking Valverde to get shots off is a better bet than to find the back of the net.
Real Madrid vs Barcelona live stream, TV channel
|UK||BT Sport 1||BT Sport app/site|
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