Another El Clasico, Real Madrid vs Barcelona match is upon us. In the semi-final of Copa del Rey, the two biggest rivals in football meet in Madrid, where the first leg will be played at Santiago Bernabeu. When Barcelona or Real Madrid are playing, half of the world is watching their games and when these teams play against each other, the whole football world is at their feet.
The rivalry comes about as Madrid and Barcelona are the two largest cities in Spain, and the two clubs are two of the richest, most successful and influential football clubs in the world. It has endured since 1902, when the first match between the sides was played. Since then, 221 official El Clasico’s were played in which Barcelona won 104 times, Real Madrid 88 times and the sides have drawn 29 times. Raul has the most appearances (37) and Alfredo Di Stefano is a top scorer (18) – both played for Real Madrid.
On their’s 222 official match, Real Madrid has a lot more problems than Barcelona.
Jose Mourinho can’t count on Iker Casillas because of an broken arm, Pepe has an injured ankle, which probably means that Antonio Adan and new signing Diego Lopez will start in first eleven and make their El Clasico debut.
Sergio Ramos, Fabio Coentrao and Angel Di Maria are also unavailable due to suspensions. Despite the injuries, Barcelona will have to put special effort to win, because Real Madrid is on a 31-match unbeaten run at the Santiago Bernabeu in all competitions.
In the outright market, El Clasico odds are for the first time in a while in Barcelona’s favor to win at the Bernabeu, priced at 13/10 (2.30), with Madrid offered at 15/8 (2.88) and the draw is available at 13/5 (3.60).
Some players should be specially motivated for this match because of the records they could break.
Messi has scored 17 times in El Clasicos and he is chasing a 49-year-old record of Alfredo di Stefano, who scored 18 goals. Also Pedro is in line to make his 200th appearance for Barca.
Neither team are playing their best football at the moment, but with players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Luka Modric, Lionel Messi, Xavi, Iniesta on the pitch, exciting Spanish football is guaranteed.