Barcelona vs. Real Madrid 12/18/19 Spanish LaLiga Soccer Pick, Odds, and Prediction
12/18/19 2 pm
Over 2.5 (-225), Under 2.5 (+175)
Barcelona is hosting Real Madrid in a postponed El Clasico match of round 10 of Spanish LaLiga.
Barcelona was solid in their two games last week in the Champions League and LaLiga. Barcelona has qualified to Top 16 as the top team in their group in the Champions League, while in LaLiga Barcelona is still in the first place with 35 points, the same amount as Real Madrid in second place. In their last LaLiga game versus Real Sociedad away from home, Barcelona had 47% of ball possession, 5 shots on goal, 5 corner kicks, and 86% of the correct passes. This wasn’t the best game for Barcelona, but they were able to score 2 goals and the game ended in a 2-2 draw. There were articles in basically every relevant newspaper how Barcelona failed in this match but have in mind that Real Sociedad is playing great soccer this season, especially at home. Barcelona is now on a 9-game streak without a loss and they are playing great offensive soccer, while their defense still requires some work, but overall Barcelona is playing good soccer. Messi is the best player in the world and the captain of this Barcelona team, and he scored 12 goals and added 6 assists in 11 games. Suarez has added 9 goals, while Griezman is playing better with every game and he scored 6 goals so far. Dembele and Arthur are injured and will not be playing. Good news for coach Valverde is that Alba and Semedo are both ready and will most likely be in the lineup which is a huge boost for Barcelona’s defense. Barcelona is not yet playing on the highest level and this match versus Real Madrid is a perfect time for them to show us that Barcelona is the main favorite for LaLiga and the Champions League title.
Real Madrid has ended the group stage of the Champions League in second place behind PSG and got qualified to Top 16. In LaLiga, Real Madrid is doing good and is in second place with 35 points, the same as Barcelona at the top. Real scored 32 goals in 16 games which is an average of little over 2 goals per game. Their defense, on the other hand, is superb this season, and Real Madrid has conceded only 12 goals. The only better defensive team in LaLiga is Atletico Madrid. In their latest LaLiga match against Valencia away from home, Real Madrid had a good game with 64% of ball possession, 6 shots on goal, 2 corner kicks, and 91% of the correct passes. Real was constantly attacking in this match and creating good chances, but Valencia was able to score a goal in 78th minute which put Real Madrid behind. In the 95th minute, Real had a corner kick, and after a few bad reactions from Valencia’s defenders, Benzema was able to put the ball in the net and the game ended in a 1-1 draw. Benzema was the best player in Real Madrid so far and he scored 12 goals in 15 games and added 5 assists. Real Madrid has some injury problems and some important players like Hazard, Marcelo, Rodriguez, and Asensio will not be in the lineup for this El Clasico. Despite all these injuries, coach Zidane has some good young players at his disposal and Real Madrid is still extremely dangerous. Real Madrid hasn’t lost a game since October and they are playing well, but this El Clasico will be something completely different than everything Real has faced so far this season.
Trends are mixed when Barcelona and Real Madrid meet, and tensions are always high. Because Real Madrid has some important injured players, and Barcelona is playing at home, I’m leaning towards Barcelona here who is playing some of their best soccer of the season.