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Real Madrid slight favourites for El Clásico

9/12/2011
Real Madrid have been installed as slight favourites ahead of Barcelona leading up to this Saturday’s Clásico fixture.

Jose Mourinho’s Madrid side host the season’s first league meeting between the Spanish giants as league leaders, three points ahead of Barça at the top of the table.

Madrid are priced at 7/5 (various) to claim victory at the Bernabéu while most bookmakers have Barcelona at 15/8, with Stan James offering a best price of 2/1. A draw is widely priced at 12/5.

Real have won their last 10 league matches – 15 in all competitions, equalling a club record – and currently lead Pep Guardiola’s European champions by three points despite having played a game less.

Barcelona are chasing a club-record fourth consecutive league title, but have struggled away from the Camp Nou this season, winning only two of their six away league fixtures.

But Guardiola has an impressive record against Real, winning seven out of 11 games since becoming manager in 2008. Even since Mourinho took control of Madrid at the beginning of last season, Guardiola has only been defeated once by his side’s biggest rivals.

Saturday’s match also pits two of world’s greatest players against each other; Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo.

Argentine forward Messi has 17 league goals this campaign and 13 goals in 15 games against Real, while Portuguese star Ronaldo also has 17 goals in the league this season but has scored only three in his nine games against Barça.

Ronaldo is the slight favourite in the first goalscorer markets. Both he and Messi are generally backed at 4/1, but Messi is given a slightly better best price of 5/1 (Bet365, Unibet).

Jack Watkins
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