Barcelona has a chance to make history. By any measure, it’s been a successful season for the Blaugrana. They have already locked up the La Liga title and won their fourth straight Copa del Rey two weeks ago. However, now they can become immortal.
The club is just four matches away from becoming the first team in the history of La Liga to finish the season undefeated. Currently, Barcelona are 26-8-0 and are incredibly close to achieving the feat. However, their old rival Real Madrid is one of the teams left in their way and they will need to get a result against them in the latest version of El Clasico.
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Barcelona vs. Real Madrid
Date and Time: May 6, 2018, 2:45 p.m. ET
Location: Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain
US Television Coverage: beIN Sports
Betting Line: Barcelona -0.5 and -1, O/U 3.5
These teams have both been in good form recently. For Barcelona, that’s been the case all season long. Outside of a shock second leg defeat at the hands of Roma in the Champions League, they have had a pretty impeccable campaign.
However, they have been vulnerable at times. Most notably, they nearly dropped their first match of the year at the end of March. They were down 2-0 on the road against Sevilla in the waning minutes of the match. Fortunately, Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi teamed up to save the day. Suarez pulled one back in the 88th after some near misses throughout the match, and Messi ripped one home a minute later for Barca to salvage a draw.
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Real has been making another run at a Champions League title, but they haven’t turned their attention fully away from La Liga. They have not lost a domestic league match in a few months at this point.
Some have called them lucky this year in the Champions League, but great teams make the most of their opportunities. Perhaps they were fortunate to get past Juventus and Bayern Munich, yet they came through when it mattered the most.
Neither club has much to report on the injury front. For Barcelona, the only injury to report is that of Sergi Samper. Samper has been beset by injuries over the past two years, and Barcelona is used to life without him.
As for Real Madrid, Los Blancos will not have right back Dani Carvajal available. That will thrust youngster Achraf Hakimi into the line-up. Hakimi has performed well when called upon but this will be just his ninth start and his first El Clasico.
Manager Zinedine Zidane looks likely to sit Isco too. Isco has not been a constant starter this season, and he has picked up a couple knocks in recent weeks. Some rest will do him well.
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Real Madrid might have a much more important match in three weeks, but they would love to knock Barcelona from the ranks of the unbeaten. It seems like Real is always there to nip Barcelona right when it matters most, and a Real win would fit that narrative.
The club has been able to get plenty of rest after their Champions League victory on Tuesday, so fatigue will not be an issue. Additionally, Keylor Navas has been playing very well of late. Navas was instrumental in Real’s win over Bayern Munich, and it seems like he is finally in top form once again.
Cristiano Ronaldo will be the difference maker though. Ronaldo didn’t do much in the club’s win over Bayern Munich, but he will be much more active against his rival. I think Ronaldo nets one and assists on another here.
Spanish La Liga Prediction: Real Madrid 3, Barcelona 2