Barcelona vs Real Madrid predictions: Title showdown to be tight affair
- Barcelona have a nine-point lead over rivals Real Madrid at the LaLiga summit
- Barcelona have conceded only eight league goals this campaign
- Recommended Bet: Under 2.5 goals
Barcelona and Real Madrid have already met twice in 2023 — in the Spanish Super Cup final and in the Copa del Rey — but this Sunday's league clash at the Camp Nou is set to be their most important meeting of the season.
The El Clasico clubs have once again been setting the pace in LaLiga but it is Barcelona who have taken the initiative in the title race, having established a nine-point lead over Los Blancos with 13 games to play — despite losing the first league meeting 3-1 at the Bernabeu in October
A win for Barca in this match would all but put an end to Real Madrid's slim chances of winning the title, but a victory for the visitors could at least make the remaining stages of the season a little more interesting.
Hosts Barcelona have been given a big boost with star midfielder Pedri returning to training this week and he is expected to have some involvement in the latest instalment of El Clasico.
For Real Madrid, David Alaba is out while Ferland Mendy remains a doubt.
Barcelona have won 21 of their 25 matches in La Liga this season, remarkably conceding only eight goals in the process — the best defensive record of any team in Europe's top five divisions this season.
The club's recent matches have been tight with each of their last four contests having been settled by 1-0 scorelines, winning three on the bounce — including beating Real — after a surprise loss to Almeria.
Goals have also been at a premium in Real Madrid's recent fixtures with four of their last five games featuring under 2.5 goals.
While Barca have been formidable at the back, they also have LaLiga's top scorer in their ranks with Robert Lewandowski having struck 15 goals in 21 matches this season.
Barcelona came into the 2022-23 season steeped in controversy following a summer of scattergun spending, despite their glaring financial difficulties, but they have silenced their critics on the pitch with a remarkable run in LaLiga.
Real Madrid were the standout team in Spain last season while also winning the Champions League, but Barca have pulled well clear and now have the chance to extend the gap at the top to 12 points this Sunday.
Their form coupled with the fact they have won both El Clasicos against Real Madrid in 2023 makes them an appealing option to win this game at 6/5 with LiveScore Bet, but it may well pay to side with a low-scoring game.
Barcelona's success under Xavi has not been about dominant possession play or overloading the box but instead about defensive discipline.
Goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen has enjoyed a superb season with 19 clean sheets recorded in 25 league matches and only eight goals shipped in the process.
With various players recent absences, including Robert Lewandowski recently, Barcelona have had to lean on their defence even more, racking up three 1-0 wins on the bounce in all competitions, beating Real, Valencia and Athletic Bilbao.
The latest of those came with Lewandowski back in the side and, despite the attacking firepower these two teams have at their disposal, a tight and cagey contest is expected.
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