Real Madrid and FC Barcelona clash again at the Santiago Bernabéu, three days after playing El Clásico in the Copa del Rey semifinals. This is a must-win game for Real Madrid because a draw or a loss would pretty much make FC Barcelona unreachable in the standings.
Here, Real Madrid has a chance to get back into the fight for La Liga and get some redemption, just three days after Barça beat them 3-0 to advance to the Copa del Rey Final in May. FC Barcelona is in first place with 57 points in 25 games (17-6-2) while Real Madrid is third with 48 points also in 25 games (15-3-7). A draw would keep the teams separated by nine points and a Barça win would give them a 12-point lead with just 12 games left.
Should Real Madrid head coach Santiago Solari prioritize Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League game against Ajax or risk it all and let his players give their maximum effort in El Clásico? Based on the potential starting lineup, losing this game is not an option for Real Madrid, they won’t rotate their best players but this can be risky because their increased workload could cost them next week.
Saturday, March 2 at 2:45 PM ET
Coverage: beIN Sports
Real Madrid Starting Lineup
FW Vinicius Jr.
FC Barcelona Starting Lineup
GK ter Stegen
Betting Line & Prediction
*Note: All odds posted by courtesy of OddsShark and first revealed by BetOnline
- Real Madrid (+184, PK at +103) vs. FC Barcelona (+150, PK at -123)
- Draw: +235
- Over/Under: 3
Despite FC Barcelona’s excellent track record at the Santiago Bernabéu in the last 15 years (12 wins in 22 games with 47 goals scored and 33 goals against), I don’t expect them to roll over Real Madrid like on Wednesday. In that game, FC Barcelona struggled in the first half and the result is not an exact reflection of what went down on the field. Lionel Messi had a quiet game, so seeing them win in convincing fashion did impress me.
Also, La Liga is a completely different stage and this time FC Barcelona is not forced to score like in the Copa del Rey game and a draw would actually be a good result for them.
The key player for Real Madrid will be Vinicius Jr., he just got his first call-up to the Brazilian national team and he has to spark his team’s offense.
FC Barcelona has two wins against Real Madrid this season, scoring eight goals in those games and they also have a 1-1 draw in the first leg of the Copa del Rey semifinals. Barça is clearly the better team, they have more depth, their coach gives them an edge and knowing that they don’t even need to win this game will help them because they won’t play with pressure.
Pick: Draw +235