Sky Sports serves up a real treat this Wednesday as we head to sunny Spain for the Copa Del Rey final between Real Madrid and Barcelona. Tune in for the 8PM kick off and here are some free football betting tips for you.
Similarly to the Premier League, there is a potential shock on the cards at the top of La Liga this year. Atletico Madrid currently hold a three point lead over their city rivals, and thanks to shambolic away defeat at Grenada, a four point buffer over Barcelona. After being dumped out of the Champions League, Wednesday's match will be of added importance to the Catalan giants as it represents their only realistic chance of silverware. Real Madrid, with one eye on their unfortunate pairing with Bayern Munich, will also be keen to get a cup under their belt as well.
Real head into the game in fairly mixed form, although they have won their last three league games at an aggregate of 13-0, they did lose the two games before that, most noticeably the 4-3 home defeat to Wednesday's opponents. As well as this, their Champions League progression was certainly a close call. After nearly throwing away a three goal lead from the first leg, Real managed to hold their nerve in Germany against Burussia Dortmund despite falling to a 2-0 defeat. However, chequered form will be the least of their worries heading into the final. The recent injury to the talismanic Cristiano Ronaldo seems set to rule him out of the tie with Carlo Ancelotti keen to wrap his star man in cotton wool before the Champions League semi final. Whilst this is clearly a blow for Real, it's hardly a game changer. Ancelotti will just have the misfortune of playing Gareth Bale further forward – my heart bleeds for him.
As previously mentioned, Barcelona's title challenge suffered a terminal blow at the weekend when their 1-0 away defeat to lowly Grenada ended a run of five straight wins. Couple this with their Champions League exit at the hands of Athletico Madrid, last week was certainly one to forget for the Spanish champions. However, there have been a lot of articles floating about from the doom mongers about Barcelona's plight and Messi's marginal dip in form. Yes, they have not been as good as last year, but I would hardly class this as a crisis. Furthermore, this supposedly out of form Lionel Messi has still scored 38 goals this season despite being injured for several weeks.
Early prices for the final have Barcelona as 6/4 favourites, which considering Cristiano Ronaldo is likely to miss out, is a very reasonable price. Their 4-3 triumph at the Bernabeu last month highlights this fact. Real are on offer at a best-priced 9/5, which certainly reflects Ronaldo's absence and the draw available at 13/5. Being a cup final, it's not the easiest match to predict. However, based on their last meeting, injury worries and the fact the competition is the only realistically obtainable trophy for Barcelona, back them to win in 90 minutes at 6/4 with Coral and Lionel Messi to score in a Barcelona win at 5/2 with William Hill.
Finally, after trawling through statistics from previous El Clasico encounters, it has become apparent just how bad tempered these games can become. Last month's clash saw three penalties, seven yellow cards and a sending off. This appears to be par for the course, as does a Sergio Ramos red card. The Spanish international has an incredible 19 career dismissals to his name already and he's only 28. To put this in perspective, jailbird Joey Barton has a mere eight. With this in mind, William Hill are offering odds of 2/1 on over 6 cards and under 10 corners and Bet365 a tasty 2/1 on a penalty being awarded. Whilst the penalty bet speaks for itself, the last two matches have comfortably been under the corner threshold, and you have to go all the way back to 2007 to find one that has a losing card count. Although 2/1 isn't amazing odds, it can be juiced up to 6/1 if you fancy more corners, statistically speaking though the risk in bet outweighs the potential prize.
Barcelona v Real Madrid Betting Tips and Predictions
Barcelona to Win – Bet Here at 6/4 with Coral
Messi to Score and Barcelona to Win – Bet Here at 5/2 with William Hill.
Over 6 Cards and Under 10 Corners – Bet Here at 2/1 with William Hill.
A Penalty to Be Awarded – Bet Here at 2/1 with Bet365
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