Barcelona claimed a Copa del Rey Final place for the sixth year running this week thanks to their 3-0 victory at the Santiago Bernabeu in the 2nd Leg of their Semi-Final tie. Real Madrid wasted a host of chances to take the lead though and despite leading the shot count by a 14-4 margin, they again found themselves on the wrong end of a one-sided scoreline at home against their bitter rivals. Real Madrid host Barcelona again this Saturday in La Liga and they will have revenge on their mind.
There is a commonly held assumption that Clasicos are always high-scoring affairs and that has generally been the case in the past decade with the likes of Leo Messi, Neymar, Luis Suarez, Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale all making their mark on the fixture. It is though worth looking a little deeper at just how often this fixture delivers high-scoring games and whether it ever disappoints.
Clasicos in the last 10 years – Key Stats
Matches played – 36
Barcelona Wins – 17 (47%)
Real Madrid Wins – 9 (25%)
Draws – 10 (28%)
Barcelona Goals – 74 (2.06 per game)
Real Madrid Goals – 50 (1.39 per game)
Over 1.5 Total Goals – 94%
Over 2.5 Total Goals – 72%
Over 3.5 Total Goals – 44%
Both Teams Scored – 75%
Average Total Goals per Game – 3.44
Highest Scoring Fixture – Real Madrid 2-6 Barcelona, May 2009
(All competitions – 90 minute result used in case of Extra Time/Penalties)
With 75% of the meetings in the last decade seeing both sides on the scoresheet, this has been a very high-scoring game in recent years, no great surprise given the amount of attacking talent on show. Even so, it is pretty remarkable how rarely this game fails to live up to the hype. Just 2 of the 36 matches over the past ten years have failed to produce at least two goals and those were both at the start of the period. Since Real Madrid claimed a 1-0 Copa del Rey Final win over Barcelona in 2011, every Clasico meeting has seen over 1.5 goals scored.
Therefore it seems highly probably that we will see a few goals when the two sides lock horns again this weekend. There may be no more Cristiano Ronaldo but there are still some fascinating duels to look out for. It will be particularly interesting to watch Vinicius Junior again. The Brazilian teenager most certainly won his battle with Nelson Semedo on Wednesday evening and gave the whole Barcelona defence a fright but he couldn’t convert any of the chances that fell his way.
Clasicos so far this season
- Barcelona 5-1 Real Madrid, La Liga
- Barcelona 1-1 Real Madrid, Copa del Rey Semi-Final 1st Leg
- Real Madrid 0-3 Barcelona, Copa del Rey Semi-Final 2nd Leg
So far this season, there have already been 3 Clasico meetings and this will be the final one unless the sides are paired together in the latter stages of the Champions League. The recent trend of Barcelona having the overall edge in this fixture has continued. Barca hammered Los Blancos 5-1 when the sides met in the first league meeting. Julen Lopetegui was still the coach then and it proved to be final nail in his coffin with the former Spain boss sacked the next day.
Vinicius was still struggling to get in the squad then, a major source of frustration for some Real fans and certainly the board. The arrival of Santi Solari has given him his chance and he has made a big contribution to an upturn in Real Madrid’s level of performance. However the result still went against them as Barcelona produced a clinical 2nd Half display to win the Copa del Rey Semi-Final at the Bernabeu.
Barcelona’s Fine Recent Record at the Bernabeu
— Muhammad Butt (@muhammadbutt) February 27, 2019
- 4 wins in their last 5 visits.
- 3+ Barcelona goals in all those wins.
- 3 Straight league wins away to Real Madrid for the first time ever.
- Only 13 wins from 74 games at the Bernabéu until 2003 but 12 wins from 22 visits since then.
Barcelona have never enjoyed a better spell when it comes to visiting the home of the arch-enemy. Their 3-0 win on this ground last season sealed a 3rd straight league win at the Bernabeu for the first time ever. They’ve not just been beating Real Madrid but at times totally wiping the floor with them with a 4-0 victory in the Spanish capital the season before that to go with some big wins at Camp Nou.
Wednesday’s 3-0 cup victory was less convincing in terms of the performance but they still showed just how clinical they can be in front of goal while Los Blancos wasted a host of fine chances. That extra finishing quality in a game like this, which always serves up chances at each end, could be the decisive factor again on Saturday.
Clasico Betting Specials
Luis Suarez to score anytime
Luis Suarez has a terrific record in El Clasico. He levelled Cristiano Ronaldo’s tally of 9 clasico goals in La Liga earlier this season with a hat-trick in the league meeting at Camp Nou. He managed that in far fewer games than the Portuguese legend and he was the scourge of Real Madrid again in midweek with his brace seeing him onto 11 goals in the fixture overall from just 14 appearances against Los Blancos.
Nelson Semedo to be Booked
Vinicius Junior gave Nelson Semedo the toughest game of his Barcelona career on Wednesday night. The Barca full-back was beaten in one-on-one situations throughout the game and you can be sure he will be targeted again on Saturday. The right-back position is a bit of a problem for Ernesto Valverde but Semedo offers more pace than Sergi Roberto and is likely to be trusted again. Odds of 2/1 for him to be booked look generous though given there may be times when he will simply have to bring down the dangerous young Brazilian, who is outshining many of his teammates.
Barcelona to Win from Behind
The Copa del Rey clashes followed similar patterns with Real Madrid starting strongly but Barcelona coming back into the game in the 2nd Half. They came back to draw the 1st Leg and perhaps should have won that match. They almost certainly should have been behind at the interval in midweek but again the Catalans grew into the game and scored three Second Half goals to seal the win. They have often been a 2nd Half team under Ernesto Valverde and a huge 28% of their league goals this term have come in the final 15 minutes. Therefore backing Barcelona to Win from Behind could be worth considering with Real Madrid unlikely to be quite so wasteful again in the opening stages of this one.