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Big Match Breakdown: Barcelona v Real Madrid

Charlie Dear | 28 October 2018

Preview, odds and tips for El Clasico

The most high-profile game in La Liga rocks up yet again as Barcelona host Real Madrid in the first instalment of El Clasico this season.

Although both teams will be missing some of the men who have characterised this fixture in the last decade, the drama never wanes.

It’ll be all set up for a new star to become the hero in one of the most watched matches in world football.

You can find the clash live on Eleven Sports from 3:15pm. We’ve pulled together everything you need to know with a Big Match Breakdown.

Head-to-Head

Barca took four points off Real Madrid as they went on to win the title last season.

Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo cancelled out strikes from Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi in a game that ended 2-2 in Catalonia.

Earlier in the campaign, Blaugrana eased to a famous 3-0 win at the Bernabeu.

In the last 13 La Liga dating back to 2013, Barcelona hold a 6-5 win record with two draws between the sides.

Likely XIs

Barcelona vs Real Madrid - Football tactics and formations

The last time this fixture didn’t feature any of Ronaldo, Messi or Andres Iniesta in the matchday squads was so long ago that Patrick Kluivert scored Barca’s goal in December 2003.

But someone will have the chance to re-write history with Messi injured and Ronaldo and Iniesta leaving for pastures new last summer.

Rafinha Alcantara could get the nod in place of Messi.

Barca will also be without injured centre-backs Samuel Umtiti and Thomas Vermaelen.

Dani Carvajal is unavailable for Los Blancos. Julen Lopetegui will have to decide whether to go with the more experienced Nacho or new signing Alvaro Odriozola at right-back.

Marco Asensio should join Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale in an exciting Real front three.

Key Battles

The two clubs have always had electric forward-lines down the years.

But this year with some key men missing it could all come down to the midfield.

Both sides looked settled in this area, Madrid’s star names just roll off the tongue these days.

A midfield three of Casemiro, Toni Kroos and FIFA golden Ball winner Luka Modric looks formidable.

They will more than likely clash the silky trio of Sergio Busquets, Arthur and Ivan Rakitic.

The middle third of the pitch is where this duel could be won and lost.

Match Odds

Home advantage could count here. Ernesto Valverde’s men are 19/20 to win. Madrid are 13/5 to win at the Camp Nou.

A second-successive draw is 11/4.

Both Teams to Score for the seventh game in nine meetings is 1/2.

Philippe Coutinho to step up in Messi’s absence and score 2 goals or more is 7/1.

Bale to score and Madrid to win is 7/1.

22-year-old Asensio has already scored in El Clasico and is 13/5 to do so again.

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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing