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Spanish Primera BBVA

Camp Nou (ATT 73,000) 21st April 2012 - Kick off 19:00 Ref: A Undiano Mallenco

Barcelona Barcelona vs Real Madrid R Madrid

Barcelona 1

A Sanchez (72)


R Madrid 2

S Khedira (17)
C Ronaldo (73)

Barcelona v Real Madrid preview

Watch El Clasico live on SSHD1 & in 3D from 7pm on Saturday

By Tim Clement - Twitter: @SkyTimClement.   Last Updated: 21/04/12 8:51am

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Guardiola: Looking to cut Real Madrid's lead

Guardiola: Looking to cut Real Madrid's lead

Real Madrid will be looking to put their slip-ups aside and the La Liga title race to bed in one of the most keenly-anticipated El Clasico clashes of all time.

Barcelona have cut the gap from 10 points to just four thanks to 11 successive league wins, with Jose Mourinho's men drawing three times during that run, but victory on Saturday night will leave the capital side seven points clear with just four to play.

Both sides will be looking to bounce back from defeats in the first legs of their respective Champions League semi-final ties, with Real Madrid losing 2-1 at Bayern Munich before Barcelona lost 1-0 at Chelsea.

Another loss for Real Madrid would leave them leading La Liga by just a single point and, with tricky clashes with Sevilla and Athletic Bilbao to follow, possessing no room for further slip-ups.

Sky Bet install Barcelona as 8/13 favourites to close the gap with Real Madrid 4/1 to pull clear with victory and a draw, which would also suit the visitors, 3/1.

Mind games

What If....

It gets Messi? Lionel Messi to score three or more goals against Real Madrid - bet here.

Barca boss Pep Guardiola has cranked up the pressure in the build-up to Saturday night's clash by maintaining that the title is Madrid's to lose rather than for his side to win, while his opposite number Mourinho has been virtually muted, insisting his opinions will only serve to earn him further touchline bans following various clashes with officials.

The build-up to the Nou Camp clash has inevitably been dominated by the game's two biggest names, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, with the duo scoring a record-breaking 41 goals in La Liga already, eclipsing the 40-goal record set by Ronaldo last season.

Messi has scored a hefty percentage of his at home with a remarkable 28 goals at the Nou Camp, while Ronaldo has been almost as prolific away from the Bernabeu, netting 20 times on the road.

However, the battle of Spain's top two has rarely been two-man show, with the pair netting just six of the 20 goals in the duos five meeting this season.

Pantomime villain

Sky Bet Odds

Cristiano Ronaldo is 7/1 to score a brace at the Nou Camp. Bet here.

The rivalry between Guardiola and Mourinho has all too often proved as much of an intriguing sub-plot in recent times, with Mourinho something of a pantomime villain at Camp Nou since cutting his coaching teeth in Catalunya before returning for controversy-packed encounters at the reins of Chelsea, Inter Milan and now their great rivals.

Then there's the poignant history of their rivalry two clubs, divided politically and driven by a battle for titles throughout their rich pasts, which has seen Real Madrid claim the most league titles (31) but the Catalans dominating of late with three-successive La Liga crowns.

Both teams are virtually full strength with Alexis Sanchez expected to be fit despite picking up a knock against Chelsea, while Gerard Pique may return after sitting out the defeat at Stamford Bridge.

Real Madrid welcome back Xabi Alonso from a one-match domestic ban, meaning Mourinho only remains without long-term absentees Ricardo Carvalho (thigh) and Lassana Diarra (hamstring) as he looks to record a first win at the Nou Camp.

Best bet: Over 4.5 goals - 100/30

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Latest Poll



Spanish Primera BBVA

Spanish Primera BBVA
Pos Team P Pts
1 Barcelona 28 68
2 Real Madrid 28 64
3 Valencia 28 60
4 Atletico Madrid 28 59
5 Sevilla 28 55
6 Villarreal 28 49
7 Malaga 28 44
8 Athletic Bilbao 28 39
9 Real Sociedad 28 36
10 Celta Vigo 28 35
11 Rayo Vallecano 28 35
12 Espanyol 28 34
13 Getafe 28 29
14 Eibar 28 28
15 Elche 28 27
16 Deportivo La Coruna 28 26
17 Almeria 28 25
18 Levante 28 25
19 Granada 28 23
20 Cordoba 28 18


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