Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Real value

Real Madrid v/s Barcelona; an El Clasico that only last year would have been the top sports story of the day. After a few of these last year, all loaded with a never-before-seen prevalence of abject anti-sporting behaviour from both teams, the expectations have whittled down markedly. These rivals can be the 2 best in the world, but they are infected with a few class-less players that pours shame on the beautiful game.

That said, although today's match is about the first leg of a Copa del Rey round, it could also be a turning point in the fortunes of La Liga. A Madrid win could remove the mental block that its players are suffering whenever they are on the same field as the Blaugrana. A Madrid win would give them confidence to hold on their lead in La Liga. All to say that if Madrid can win tonight, Barcelona's stranghold on the Spanish and world football could finally be rocked.

Barcelona won at the Bernabeu a few weeks ago. In my mind, their 3-1 win flattered them because the score could easily have gone in the opposite direction. Had Ronaldo not missed 2 sitters at crucial moments of the game? The Blaugrana took their chances and came up with the 3 big points. There is never any certainty in opposing Barcelona. Once they turn on the engine, they can load it up against the best teams. But their form is patchy lately; their last win at home against Betis was not convincing at all. Against Madrid, they might miss the presence of their prolific injured striker David Villa.

I see value in backing Real at 1/1 draw-no-bet. There does not seem to be a better time to play Barcelona and the hosts will be well aware of it. With some obvious risk in mind, the recommendation is a draw-no-bet on Madrid. It is certain they will not be available at those odds again anytime soon.

Draw-no-bet: Real Madrid.

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