If the Melbourne Cup is the thoroughbred race that stops a nation, El Clasico between Real Madrid and Barcelona is the football match that stops a planet. And the media hype for Saturday’s game is close to record levels because Luis Suarez is eligible to make his debut for Barcelona.
Most football punters want to have a bet on El Clasico so one is going to focus on Real Madrid against Barcelona above this weekend’s other nine Spanish Primera Division matches.
Good luck trying to pick the winner of the El Clasico but one would prefer to follow an established trend when trying to make a profit from the game. Players and managers have come and gone over the last three and a half years but, irrespective of who has been wearing the crests of Real Madrid and Barcelona, El Clasico has featured goals.
In what is one of the most incredible statistics in domestic football, both teams have scored in each of the last 16 El Clasicos. Yes, you read that correctly – neither Real Madrid nor Barcelona has kept an El Clasico clean sheet since Barca won 2-0 on the road in the first leg of their 2011 UEFA Champions League semi-final tie against the Meringues.
Betfair Sportsbook is offering odds of 47/1001.47-2130.47-2.130.47 the run of both sides scoring in El Clasicos stretches to 17. That is a bet that appeals more than trying to pick the right option out of Real Madrid, Barcelona and the draw in the match betting.
Something for which El Clasico is better known than its lack of clean sheets is its abundance of yellow cards and red cards so one has researched the disciplinary statistics of not only Real Madrid and Barcelona but also Alberto Undiano Mallenco, who has been appointed to referee Saturday’s game.
Over the last three seasons there have been 15 El Clasicos in which there have been a total of 97 yellow cards and seven red cards. So the average number of El Clasico cards over the last three terms works out at 7.40 for punters who like to bet on the over/under lines and 76.33 cards points if one awards 10 per yellow card and 25 per red card. The most incident-packed El Clasico match over the last three seasons had nine yellow cards and three red cards, while the best behaved game had a relatively low three yellow cards.
Alberto Undiano Mallenco is a regular El Clasico referee and Saturday’s game at the Santiago Bernabeu will be the 10th time that he has officiated Real Madrid versus Barcelona. Mallenco has shown a total of 52 yellow cards and four red cards in his nine El Clasico appointments, with his cards points make-ups being 20, 30, 60, 60, 60, 70, 95, 100 and 105. Mallenco refereed both El Clasicos in the Spanish Primera Division last term, showing seven yellow cards at the Camp Nou and seven yellow cards and one red card at the Santiago Bernabeu. One has trawled through Mallenco’s cards data and it would appear that, apart from El Clasico, he does not show all that many cards in other derby matches.
Bookmakers will take their time posting their El Clasico cards markets but a bet that one should consider once they do is a punt on no red card in the game. Ten of the last 15 El Clasicos have ended 11 against 11 and one thinks that the odds, when they do appear, will not reflect those numbers. Further to Mallenco, he has shown only two red cards in the 13 derby matches that he has refereed over the last three seasons. Anything close to even money would be acceptable.
Real Madrid v Barcelona BTTS
25th October 17:00 GMT
Where to Bet: Betfair Sportsbook
Real Madrid v Barcelona No Red Card
25th October 17:00 GMT
Where to Bet: TBC
Eric has been a sports journalist for over 20 years and has travelled the world covering top sporting events for a number of publications. He also has a passion for betting and uses his in-depth knowledge of the sports world to pinpoint outstanding odds and value betting opportunities.
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