Barcelona vs Real Madrid, a.k.a. El Clasico, is the fiercest rivalry in Spanish soccer. These two rivals have met 279 times so far, counting all competitions. It reached a boiling point in the 2010s, when each team had a GOAT candidate on the roster.
Until 2018, Los Blancos had Cristiano Ronaldo as their strongest weapon. Over in Barcelona, it was everything about Lionel Messi until the summer of 2021. The man who’s scored more goals in El Clasico than any other player in history has moved to PSG.
Without Messi, Barça does not look like a world-beater. Actually, this team’s been pretty unimpressive since the start of the 2021-22 campaign.
On the bright side for them, they’re on a decent run at home. In the previous three games played at Europe’s largest stadium – Camp Nou – Barça won each time.
Barcelona vs Real Madrid Odds
Odds taken from DraftKings on October 22, 2021
|Over 2.5 Goals||-160|
|Under 2.5 Goals||+130|
Where and When to Watch
- Date: Sunday, October 24
- Time: 10:15 AM EDT
- Location: Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain
- Watch: ESPN+
Barça Putting Its Hopes in Its Rising Stars
Last season, Barcelona had Messi on the roster, as well as Antoine Griezmann and many others. This season, they’re without real superstars in the team, with their most valuable player being midfielder Frenkie de Jong.
Barcelona’s scoring leader in the new season is Memphis Depay, with four goals in eight games. Although he’s not a bad player, the former Lyon man certainly isn’t at an elite level, as it used to be the case with Barça’s strikers in the past.
On the bright side, the future does look good for this team, as some of Barcelona’s youngsters have been superb. Eighteen-year-old forward Ansu Fati is one of those, together with defenders Eric Garcia and Sergino Dest, and midfielder Pedri.
Speaking of Pedri, the Spanish playmaker will miss El Clasico due to an injury. Unfortunately for Barcelona, he’s not going to be their only absentee. They will also be without Martin Braithwaitte (forward), Ronald Araujo (defender) and Jordi Alba (wing-back).
Los Blancos Coming Off a 5-0 Win in Ukraine
After two straight losses when everyone thought Real Madrid was in trouble, Los Blancos bounced back. They did it in style by beating Shakhtar Donetsk 5-0 in Ukraine. The game was played as a part of the Champions League on Tuesday evening local time.
What we saw in that game was a show made by Real Madrid’s front trio – Karim Benzema, Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo.
Los Blancos’ defense was almost equally good, stopping the hosts from doing much in the offense. Then, there’s also their midfield, which deserves a lot of credit. They kept the ball in their possession for nearly two-third of the game, creating almost four times goal chances as the opponents.
If they play at the same level on Sunday, they have nothing to worry about grabbing all three points.
Pick: Real Madrid to win; over 2.5 goals will probably hit.