Prediction: Real Madrid vs Barcelona
Verdict: Real Madrid win
Best Odds: 19/20
Two Spanish icons who will turn their attention back to Copa del Rey duties on Thursday night, Real Madrid will welcome Barcelona to the Bernabeu.
Starting with the hosts, although Real Madrid might find themselves facing a real uphill struggle if they’re to defend their La Liga crown this season, Carlo Ancelotti’s side are in the midst of an eye-catching flurry. Despite eventually having to settle for a 1-1 draw against local neighbours Atletico Madrid last weekend, the former AC Milan boss should find the mood in his camp at a recent high. Opening their Champions League knockout stage adventure with a remarkable comeback away at Premier League giants Liverpool as they claimed a 5-2 romp on February 21st, Los Blancos will be desperate to lay down another marker here. Continuing to shine since being crowned club World Cup winners last month, it should also be noted that Real Madrid have lost just one of their last 12 appearances across all competitions – a run that stems all the way back to January 15th.
Suffering a huge injury blow away at Anfield last week, Real Madrid have confirmed that defensive talisman David Alaba faces a lengthy stint on the sidelines. Los Blancos will also be without long-term absentee Ferland Mendy on Thursday night.
Including a Champions League brace at Anfield, Karim Benzema has racked up 12 post-World Cup strikes and will lead Ancelotti’s attack here. The reigning Ballon d’Or winner will once again be joined by the red-hot Vinicius Junior.
As for the visitors, suffering another European collapse away at Old Trafford last week, Barcelona have the feel of a squad seeking a recent boost. Eventually crashing out of this year’s Europa League following a 2-1 defeat against Premier League giants Manchester United, Xavi’s young squad were last seen over the weekend putting in another downbeat display. Shocking almost everyone across La Liga as they were hit with a 1-0 defeat away at Almeria, Barca have now won just one of their previous four appearances across all competitions. However, still holding a seven-point buffer at the top of the table and leading the chase to claim a first domestic crown since 2019, Thursday’s guests will be boosted by their most recent showdown against Los Blancos. Putting in a famous display in the Middle East as they claimed this season’s Spanish Super Cup thanks to a 3-1 romp against their historic rivals, Xavi will be calling on a repeat display from his squad here.
In what could turn out to be a major blow for Barcelona, attacking talisman Robert Lewandowski faces a string on the sidelines after picking up a hamstring injury in last weekend’s 1-0 loss against Almeria. Ex-Manchester City star Ferran Torres could be deployed as a false nine.
Likewise, Xavi will also be unable to call upon either Ousmane Dembele or Gavi as both deal with respective thigh issues. However, Barca are hopeful that Ansu Fati will be able to play some part on Thursday night.
Key Factors to Consider
When the two Spanish icons last met back on January 15th, Barcelona claimed this season’s Spanish Super Cup thanks to a 3-1 romp against Los Blancos.
However, along with crashing out of the Europa League at Old Trafford last week, Barcelona have won just one of their last four matchups across all competitions.
Real Madrid have lost just one of their previous 12 appearances across all competitions since their Super Cup defeat on January 15th.
However, Los Blancos have recorded just a pair of clean sheets from their last seven matchups across all competitions.
Each of the last two meetings between Real Madrid and Barcelona have finished with a 3-1 scoreline.
After watching Barcelona lift this season’s Spanish Super Cup following a 3-1 romp back in January, Real Madrid will be desperate to claim some kind of revenge here. Turning their attention back to Copa del Rey duties as they hope to secure a first-leg advantage on home soil, Thursday’s hosts are enjoying what has been a recent flurry. Although Barca might still find themselves holding a commanding seven-point buffer at the top of the La Liga table, they do have the feel of a squad seeking a boost. Crashing out of the Europa League last week following a 4-3 aggregate defeat against Manchester United, Xavi is also dealing with a growing injury headache in Catalonia. Missing a number of first-team superstars when they travel to the Spanish capital in midweek, we’re backing a home victory here.
Verdict: Real Madrid win
Best Odds: 19/20
Full Story: https://www.soccernews.com/prediction-real-madrid-vs-barcelona-8/349872/
TAGS: #Prediction #Real #Madrid #Barcelona
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