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Real Madrid vs. Barcelona Betting Odds: Champions League Picks

Real Madrid vs Barcelona Champions League 2011 Betting Picks + Odds

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Matchup: Real Madrid vs. Barcelona
Date/Time: Wednesday, April 27, 2010 2:45 PM ET
Venue: Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid, Spain.
Broadcast: Fox Sports Premium
Spread: Pick Real Madrid -110, Pick Barcelona -120
Money Line: Real Madrid+175, Barcelona +160, Draw +225
Over/Under: 2 ½, -105u/125o

BET ON Real Madrid vs. Barcelona HERE

We have reached the halfway point of in the Clasico marathon and the heat is on as Real Madrid and Barcelona meet in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League Semifinal on Wednesday afternoon at Santiago Bernabeu.

The UEFA Champions League is now down to four teams, with the winner of this two-leg set earning a date against Manchester United or Schalke who play on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week.

This semifinal pits to long time and bitter rivals against each other as Real Madrid and Barcelona play El Clasico for the fourth of five times this season and the third time in the last 10 days.

Real enters the match as the only undefeated side remaining in the Champions League and beaming with confidence as they have handled Barca with authority in their most recent meetings (the league match and the Copa Del Rey Final), coming away with a 1-1 draw and a 1-0 win respectively.

Madrid has also won all five of their home matches so far in this tournament, yet they are winless in their last three matches against Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu.

So, if Real want to make their 13th European Cup/Champions League Final and get one step closer to becoming champions for the 10th time, they will need the troops to step it up.

They will look to players such as Cristiano Ronaldo who has been instrumental to the side’s success, as well as Mesut Ozil and Angel Di Maria, who have demonstrated their ability to not only make the crucial plays, but also score the occasional goal when needed.

The offensive attack will be a key ingredient in taking pressure off a Madrid backline that will still be without Ricardo Carvalho who will miss Wednesday’s match due to card accumulation.

Meanwhile, Barcelona is looking to make its 7th Champions League Final while trying to hoist the hardware from the 4th time overall and the 3rd time in the last six seasons.

The side enters their match against their archrival winning their last three while scoring nine goals and conceding just three after a suffering their only loss at Arsenal, 2-1. Barca’s has shown its ability to score seemingly at will, having netted at least five goals in a game on ten occasions already this season, including a 5-0 win in their first meeting with Real earlier this season.

Argentinean international Lionel Messi has been dismantling defenses all season long, producing nine goals and three assists in 10 appearances. The flashy forward’s ball skills are second to none and he is lethal from anywhere near the opposition’s area.

Messi is aided by one of the most feared strikers on the European pitch –Spaniard David Villa—as well as young striker Pedro Rodriguez. Both have chipped in with a combined six goals and two assists, and are constant threats in the wide positions.

While the Barca attack is capable of striking fear into the heart of its opponents, the same cannot be said about its defense. You would expect much more from a backline that boasts the likes of Dani Alves, Eric Abidal, and captain Carles Puyol. However, both the latter have been little factor as they have been out for extended periods of time due to illness and injury.

Further injuries have also depleted Barcelona’s backline depth, as Bojan Krkic is out for the season as well as Adriano. With all of these injuries, experienced veterans Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta will need to step up.

The meetings between these two are always a cracker and very tough one to call in the aspect of wagering. However, the offensive pendulum has to be swinging in Real’s favor and combined with Barcelona’s woeful defense, I expect Madrid to win this one heading into the final leg with a two-goal advantage.

Matt’s Free Prediction: Real Madrid 3, Barcelona 1

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Matt Martz is a sportswriter for the Bakersfield Californian located in Central California. “Football (soccer) is a game in which a handful of fit men run around for one and a half hours watched by millions of people who could really use the exercise.”

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