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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

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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 38 94
2 Real Madrid 38 92
3 Atletico Madrid 38 78
4 Valencia 38 77
5 Sevilla 38 76
6 Villarreal 38 60
7 Athletic Bilbao 38 55
8 Celta Vigo 38 51
9 Malaga 38 50
10 Espanyol 38 49
11 Rayo Vallecano 38 49
12 Real Sociedad 38 46
13 Elche 38 41
14 Levante 38 37
15 Getafe 38 37
16 Deportivo La Coruna 38 35
17 Granada 38 35
18 Eibar 38 35
19 Almeria 38 32
20 Cordoba 38 20


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