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Barcelona v Real Madrid: El Clasico To Spell End for Koeman?

An El Clasico loss for Barcelona could doom Ronald Koeman’s tenure at the Catalans especially as they face a better Real Madrid side.

Champions League Betting

If you haven’t been watching Spanish football for some time, you could be forgiven for thinking that there isn’t an awful lot riding on Sunday’s Clasico between Barcelona and Real Madrid at Camp Nou.

On paper, it is second-placed Real Madrid visiting Barcelona, a team sitting seventh in La Liga, but only two points behind Los Blancos. Both are in with a fighting chance of lifting the title, especially given that each team has only played eight matches, while others in the division have played nine.

However, in reality, this match could well be Ronald Koeman’s last chance to save his job — if, that is, this is even still a possibility. If not for Barça’s precarious financial position, he may already have been disposed of.

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Barcelona may be in the La Liga title race on paper, but they look nothing like champions at present. In the UEFA Champions League, they lost 3-0 to both Bayern Munich and Benfica before scraping past Dynamo Kiev 1-0. This is indicative of how far behind Europe’s top teams they are at present.

In fairness, Real Madrid are not their most fearsome selves either. They beat Inter Milan 1-0 away from home and thrashed Shakhtar Donetsk 5-0, but sandwiched in between those wins was an embarrassing 2-1 defeat to Sheriff Tiraspol at the Bernabéu. Real Madrid’s last La Liga match was a 2-1 defeat to Espanyol, but the Vinicius-inspired demolition job of Shakhtar Donetsk means they head into the Clasico on a high.

Barcelona’s young guns are worth keeping an eye on. The likes of Gavi and Ansu Fati have shone this season, but it is worth bearing in mind that Fati only recently returned from injury. Crucially, in key matches such as this one, it seems unreasonable to depend almost solely on youngsters to win it. Meanwhile, Pedri looks likely to miss this game through injury.

The Verdict

Both of these clubs are in difficult positions financially and on the football field, but there is no comparison between the two — Real Madrid are better off than Barcelona. Los Blancos have been sweeping opponents aside and occasionally slipping up, while Barcelona have looked timid even on their best days this season.

We predict that the gulf in quality between these sides is set to show and Real Madrid are should clinch a win at the home of the Nou Camp, all but hammering the final nail into Ronald Koeman’s coffin.

Suggested Bet: Real Madrid to win at 2.50

Leonard Solms is a sports journalist who features regularly on various local and international platforms including ESPN, New Frame, FARPost, Tagged Online and Careers Magazine, as well as this one. He enjoys the occasional bet and the most important tip he can give you is to bet within your means.

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