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Brittle Barcelona are not in the best shape for El Clasico clash

Real Madrid looking to take giant step towards La Liga title

Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo
1 of 1

La Liga
Sky Sports 1, 7.45pm Sunday

Barcelona find themselves three points behind Real Madrid in La Liga having played a game more so for them the equation is pretty simple: win at the Bernabeu to stand a realistic chance of retaining the title.

That, however, is easier said than done. Real Madrid are unbeaten at home in La Liga since Atletico Madrid defeated their local rivals 1-0 in February last year and even when Bayern Munich managed a Bernabeu victory inside 90 minutes in Tuesday's Champions League quarter-final the German giants were still overcome on aggregate.

Zinedine Zidane's side have also scored in their last 55 matches and given the advantage they hold in the title race, the ace counter-attackers can wait patiently for Barcelona to over-commit before launching trademark breaks up to Tuesday's hat-trick hero Cristiano Ronaldo.

With Ronaldo and Lionel Messi on opposite sides, the goal line is always going to be set high but in a tricky game it could pay to go under 3.5 goals. The reverse fixture was a drab 1-1 draw and Barca don't look in great shape to take the game to Madrid.

Barcelona failed to score in their two legs against Juventus as they crashed out of the Champions League and all eight of their matches against sides who started the weekend in the top six of La Liga finished with no more than three goals.

The same is also true in seven of Real's matches against the same opponents, while six of the last nine Clasico battles also landed for those backing no more than three goals.

A word of warning though - both teams have scored in 20 of the last 21 meetings.

Recommendation
Under 3.5 goals
1pt 10-11 BetBrightPaddy Power, 188Bet

Bet on this game at Soccerbase.com


Team news
Real Madrid
Pepe and Raphael Varane are out. Gareth Bale has returned to training and is in the squad but lacks match fitness.

Barcelona
Neymar is suspended. Arda Turan may not be ready to return from a groin strain.

Key stat
Barcelona have scored first in seven of the last eight Clasico matches.


The reverse fixture was a drab 1-1 draw and Barca don't look in great shape to take the game to Madrid
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