El Clasico Preview
An early Christmas present. El Clasico, arguably the biggest club game in the world, takes place this weekend. Real Madrid find themselves 11 points adrift of their arch rivals Barcelona heading into this match, meaning this is a ‘must win’ if they are to retain the La Liga title. Our Analyst previews the big game, producing the best bets for this huge clash.
Real Madrid find themselves some way behind Barcelona after a below-par start to the season, in which they won just nine of their first 15 games. If they are to retain their title, then they must win the first EL Clasico of the season and become the first team to beat Barcelona this season.
All is not as bad as it seems though, and Infogol feels Real have come under some unfair criticism based on performances this season. Before their participation in the Club World Cup last week - which they won - they were top of Infogol’s expected table. They had the highest expected goals for (43.3 xG) and the lowest expected goals against (14.9 xG) in the first 15 matches, with their performances warranting better results.
If their process continues to be as good as it has been, they have a chance of catching Barcelona in 2018.
Barcelona have had a great La Liga campaign up to now, unbeaten in their 16 matches, winning 13 of those. They have been less impressive than in recent years, being more pragmatic in their approach, but are looking a much better team for that.
Despite this more cautious approach, they thumped Deportivo 4-0 last weekend, a game in which they were in full flow, generating 7.1 xG in what was their best attacking performance of the season so far. There is no doubt they have the attacking capabilities to win this match, but it will be interesting to see how Ernesto Valverde approaches this game.
There is no doubt that Barcelona have the advantage in the race for the title, but this could be a crucial game in the season, and an exciting one at that.
Selection – Over 2.5 goals @ 2/5
When these two teams meet, there are usually plenty of goals. Both teams generate a lot of good chances in matches, and both teams’ worst asset is their defence, so over 2.5 goals is expected.
Selection – Real Madrid win @ 11/10
Real Madrid have been the best team in Spain this season according to Infogol’s expected goals table, and are expected to get the three points in El Clasico.