Barcelona v Real Madrid La Liga Preview

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RonaldoReal Madrid make the trip to Barcelona (11/10 To Win The Champions League) in what is one of the most exciting-looking El Clasico match ups in a long time. Whilst it is the tenth such fixture in little over a year, the significance of this one is huge both in terms of the domestic season and the respective clubs' Champions League hopes.

Barcelona (2/1 To Win La Liga) have cut what was a 10 point gap to only four, and a win here for Pep Guardiola's side would leave them only a point behind their rivals with four games to go. The Catalan giants have won 11 consecutive games in La Liga, convincing dispatching of all comers and whilst the disappointing loss to Chelsea in the Champions League will be felt, the seemingly insurmountable points gap to Real Madrid is now looking like it can be overturned.

Real Madrid (11/4 To Win The Champions League) meanwhile were on course to win convincingly take the title, but slip ups against Malaga, Villareal and Valencia have cost them dearly and their lead is now looking precarious. Should they be able to get a result at the Nou camp, they face an easier run-in, having beaten all the teams they're due to face in the first fixtures earlier in the season. Jose Mourinho will doubtless look to Cristiano Ronaldo (6/1 To Score First) to produce the form that has seen him score 41 times in La Liga this season, with 20 of those goals coming away from home.

Both teams are pretty much at full strength, with Barcelona's doubts over the fitness of Alexis Sanchez having seemingly subsided, and the likely return of Gerard Pique, who missed the Chelsea defeat, to the side will be a welcome one. Jose Mourinho will once more have Xabi Alonso at his disposal following a suspension but remains without Lassana Diarra and Ricardo Carvalho, who are both long term absentees.

In what has become one of the closest-run seasons in recent years, Real (4/11 To Win La Liga) will be hoping to close off the title race with a win here, and in doing so move closer to their first title in four years. Barcelona know that only a win will do here, and have their recent league form on side, as well as the home advantage. If history tells us anything though, it is that these games often spring a surprise or too, and they always entertain.


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