Wednesday’s Copa del Rey preview: 2012/13 – Real Madrid v Barcelona – First leg

30 Jan

elcasico2

Real Madrid v Barcelona

Click for Projected Marca line-ups

First off, be it for William Hill, Forza futbol or my own wordpress website, I’ve written so many Casico previews in great depth that I see no need to re-tread old ground this time.

Basically, Barca – so to speak – had Real’s number for some time. Now, Real did manage to beat Barca and win the Copa del Rey a couple of years ago, but Barca continued to dominate their eternal rival in the league, Spanish SuperCopa and Champions League – with Real and their manager, Jose Mourinho, unable to defeat Pep and his charges for a second time.

Real would often take the lead in these Clasico’s, but couldn’t hold onto it, their heads would drop and the mental advantage that Barca had grown over Real each time they met took effect and Barca would go on to draw or win the match.

Eventually, though, Real did get that second win (impressively, at Camp Nou) and resulting Clasico’s have been a lot closer, with Real defeating Barca at the Bernabeu to win the Spanish Super Cup in the 2012/13 season opener.

The last Clasico we witnessed took place earlier this season at Camp Nou: From early viewing, it looked like Barca would probably go on to win the game, but Ronaldo opened the scoring and, given that Barca were at home and had previously looked the more likely winner, you just knew that a glut of goals would follow – at least 2 more I thought to myself.

The game finished in a 2-2 draw, over goals and BTTS backers were happy and we’d seen both Messi and Ronaldo score – as they now routinely do after a long period in which it was just Messi who showed up and netted in the biggest game in Spanish football.

In all truth, unless I can see a clear winner at a good price I don’t want to pick the 90 minute market in Clasico’s anymore – preferring to bet on goal related markets. Providing my bet(s) actually win, I take this route so I can just sit back and enjoy Spain’s biggest match without needing to worry about who wins it.

All in all, over two legs, I favour Real to progress to the 202/13 Copa del Rey final because they are not 15 points behind Barca in this competition and must win something.

Now, I’d like to see Los Blancos win this year’s Champions League and backed them to do just that some time ago, but the King’s Cup is certainly the more winnable of the two – and I can’t think of a season in which Jose Mourinho has finished empty handed (one of his early jobs in Portugal is the answer, I’m sure!).

As for tonight’s recommendation, well, given how many goals Barca score in away games and how consistent they are at scoring early on – coupled with the absence of Real’s Sergio Ramos tonight – Barca to sore before 41:00 was my instinct pick last weekend.

However, the mark was quickly moved to 40:00 minutes and given that Real have scored first in the last four Clasico’s at the Bernabeu (all coming in the first half) and the last six in total, Los Blancos to score before 49:00 at 1.83 with Bet365 seems like the value bet to offer you.

Of course, hopefully both teams score in each half, there are loads of goals and Messi and Ronaldo both net one or more each, but I can only really recommend one main bet and advise that Barca to come from behind to win or draw – as they so often do – is also worth consideration if you don’t like my pick.

Anyway, whatever you’re betting on, good luck and don’t forget that there is a second leg to this – and they’re generally easier to read than the first because we know what each team needs to progress.

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