If you are a fan of big football games then this weekend in Europe is one to pay particularly close attention to as we have not just one, but two huge matches that pit two of the most successful teams from two top European leagues against each other.

First up in Spain, we have the El Clasico as Barcelona host Real Madrid in what is going to be a somewhat unusual game given the struggles of the two teams of late. Barcelona lie a lowly 7th in the La Liga table, while Real have been knocked off top spot after last weekend’s 2-1 loss to Barcelona’s city rivals Espanyol.

It promises to be a huge game, and at almost the same time in England, Manchester United will face off against Liverpool at Old Trafford as the Red Devils seek to build on their fine 3-2 comeback win over Atalanta in midweek, against a Liverpool side that also won 3-2, away to Atletico Madrid and who so far remain unbeaten in the Premier League this season.

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Let’s now take a closer look at both these key games this weekend, starting with the one that kicks off first, El Clasico.

Barcelona v Real Madrid

Real Madrid have enjoyed the better of things in El Clasico of late, winning all of the last three times the teams have met in La Liga, but before that Barcelona had a seven game unbeaten stretch in the fixture, which included a 5-1 thrashing of Real back in October 2018 as they won four and drew three of those games.

However last season, Real won this corresponding fixture 3-1 at the Nou Camp, Valverde, Ramos and Modric scoring with Ansu Fati replying for Barcelona. Then in the return at the Bernebeu, they were 2-1 winners, Benzema and Kroos scoring while Mingueza grabbed a consolation for Barcelona.

In the history of El Clasico in the Primera Liga, Real Madrid lead the way with 75 wins to Barcelona’s 72, with 35 draws. They have also outscored the Catalans, scoring 293 goals to 290 in 182 total matches between the two.

When you take into consideration all competitive matches between the two teams, Real also hold a slender lead there with 98 wins compared to 96 for Barcelona with 52 draws. They have also scored 410 goals compared to 401 for Barcelona across 246 total matches.

Current Status

For both teams, it is a somewhat tumultuous period. Real have lost a number of big name players in recent seasons, Cristiano Ronaldo left a few years back and this year Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane left the club.

With several key players now approaching the tail end of their careers, it is very much a case of rebuilding at the club and the same is true at Barcelona, although things are much worse at the Nou Camp.

The perilous state of the clubs finances left them unable to re-sign Lionel Messi this summer and has seen players like Griezmann and Suarez leave the club in recent times. Others are set to follow as Barcelona instead focus on signing younger cheaper talent from their La Masia academy to long term contracts.

The net result has seen both clubs underperform by their high standards this, especially Barcelona, which has put manager Ronald Koeman under real pressure to get something from this game on Sunday.

Probable Line Ups

  • Barcelona – 4-3-3 – Ter Stegen, Sergi Roberto, Jordi Alba, Garcia, Pique, Busquets, De Jong, Gavi, Fati, Dest, Depay
  • Real Madrid – 4-3-3 – Courtois, Mendy, Alaba, Militao, Vazquez, Casemiro, Modric, Kroos, Rodrygo, Vinicius Junior, Benzema.

Predictions And Tips For El Clasico?

Barcelona may have home advantage here but I am not convinced that they have the quality to get the result they desperately need. Real were 5-0 winners away to Donetsk in the week, a superb result and one that will give them a lot of confidence, while Barcelona struggled to beat Dynamo Kyiv at home.

As such, I am backing Real to continue their winning streak here. You can back Real for the win at 6/4 with bet365 Sport and a Real Madrid correct score win of 2-1 is a 9/1 chance.

Another bet I’d consider is Karim Benzema of Real Madrid scoring the first goal at 15/4.

Let’s now turn our attention to the big game taking place in England at Old Trafford.

Manchester United v Liverpool

These two old rivals are the two most successful teams in English football history and they are also fierce neighbours and when the two meet, it is always a huge weekend for Premier League fans.

Of the two, Liverpool have had the better of things of late not just in this fixture but in terms of winning things, although Manchester United did finish ahead of the Reds in the league table last season and knocked them out of the FA Cup at the fourth round stage.

However in the Premier League, after a draw at Anfield, Liverpool ran out 4-2 winners at Old Trafford in this fixture last season in a rare exciting and goal-packed game between the two teams.

In fact, most fixtures of late have finished as draws, with 7 of the last 13 games finishing as either a 0-0 (four times) or 1-1 (three times) draw, Liverpool winning four of those games and Manchester United just the two.

This season has seen Liverpool make an excellent start to the season. They are 2nd in the table and unbeaten in all competitions this season. United lie sixth in the table having been beaten twice already in the Premier League and their recent form is not great with three wins in their last eight games.

Current Status

United made a number of major signings this summer with Raphael Varane, Jaden Sancho and Cristiano Ronaldo joining the club, however things haven’t gone quite to plan in recent weeks and that drop off in form has heaped the pressure on manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

However, a battling 3-2 win in the Champions League on Wednesday night, when they came back from 2-0 down in the first half to claim the win with a fine second half display, should give United a real boost heading into this game.

Liverpool though remained unbeaten thanks to a 3-2 win over Atletico Madrid in midweek, Mo Salah continuing his superb form with two goals and Naby Keita adding another. With their defensive injury crisis now resolved, this Liverpool side looks much more like the one that were Champions two seasons ago.

Jurgen Klopp also won’t need to fire up his team ahead of the trip to Old Trafford, as this is a game that always stirs up the emotions, both positively and sometimes negatively.

Probable Line Ups

  • Manchester United – 4-2-3-1 – De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Shaw, Maguire, Lindelof, McTominay, Pogba, Greenwood, Fernandes, Rashford, Ronaldo.
  • Liverpool – 4-3-3 – Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Robertson, Van Dijk, Matip, Fabinho, Henderson, Keita, Salah, Firmino, Mane.

Predictions And Tips For Man Utd v Liverpool?

Games between these two giants have been very close over the years and a lot have ended in draws and that is probably the sensible bet here. Liverpool have drawn three of their eight Premier League games and Manchester United have drawn twice, and this is their first game against a genuine top three team.

As such, I think a draw is likely but given the talent of attacking options on show, I feel a scoring draw is the best option. So you can take the draw at 13/5, but a better bet may be the draw and both teams to score yes, which is 10/3 shot.

You can also get 13/2 on the correct score bet of a 1-1 draw between the two.

If you are going to have a bet this weekend then good luck and we hope that your selections come in!