El Clasico Tips
Barcelona v Real Madrid
El Clasico Tips: Real Madrid +0.5 Asian Handicap at 2.23 – 1 unit
- There’s a massive difference so far this season between these two defenses. Real Madrid rank 1st in the league for expected goals against (xGA) and 2nd for goals conceded
- Barca, in contrast, have defensive numbers than look like a mid-table club. 8th best for expected goals against (xGA) and 6th best for goals conceded
- From 7 matches, Zinedine Zidane has only lost once to Ernesto Valverde. That one loss was in 2017 when Dani Carvajal was sent off early in the 2nd half. That red card left them in the lurch and the game was over after that.
- Real Madrid will also have a huge advantage in midfield I believe. Fede Valverde, Casemiro, Modric, and Kroos are all expected to start and should have the edge over de Jong – Busquet – Rakitic.
- In my opinion, I expect Real to have a lot of success winning midfield battles and just bypassing their midfield
- From observing the two teams matches against other top 6 sides two things are clear. Both teams concede very few. Barca 0.9 per game (last 10) and Real Madrid 0.8 per game )last 10) and both are unbeaten in 9/10
- The last time this fixture was played Barca ran out 5-1 winners despite the metrics indicating a close game. This game brought an end to the disaster that was Lopetegui’s reign. It’s safe to say Real Madrid have improved considerably since last season especially in defensive transitions so I don’t expect a repeat of that.
- Barcelona have played 4 teams who occupy the top 6 places in La Liga currently, let’s take a closer look at those games.
- Last week they took on Real Sociedad and despite the VAR controversy, they were outplayed in the 2-2 draw. La Real won the possession battle, created the better chances and got off more attempts on goal
- Prior to that Barca beat Atletico 1-0 but again the xG indicates are a very close match (1.16-1.19) – Barca relied on a moment of individual brilliance from Messi to separate the sides
- Prior to that they beat Sevilla 4-0 but lost the xG 2.84-1.82. Sevilla had 9 decent chances inside Barca’s box and couldn’t capitalize
- Then against Getafe, they won 2-0 but again another very close match in terms of chances (1.77-1.27)
- Teams like Barcelona can outperform their xG, they have some of the best players in the world, but I honestly believe they’ve been riding their luck in the matches I mentioned above
- Currently, Barca’s defensive numbers are the worst they’ve been for 5 years. They are conceding 1.09 per 90 while giving up 1.32 xGA per 90. Interestingly, Real Madrid’s defensive numbers are the best they’ve been in the last 5 years
Expected Barca XI: ter Stegen, Alba, Lenglet, Pique, Semedo, de Jong, Busquets, Rakitic, Griezmann, Suarez, Messi
Expected Real Madrid XI: Courtois, Mendy, Ramos, Varane, Carvajal, Valverde, Casemiro, Kroos, Modric, Bale, Benzema