Barcelona, Real Madrid set to bring goals to first Clasico in U.S.
El Clasico lands at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami this weekend, as Real Madrid and Barcelona lock horns for the first time ever on U.S. soil. It is the final stop on both teams' respective American tours ahead of another hugely anticipated season in Spain.
Real Madrid outshone their Catalan rivals last term, winning La Liga and capturing the Champions League title, so Barcelona might view this as an early chance to strike a blow against their biggest and most bitter opponents.
While Lionel Messi will be present for Barcelona, it's looking increasingly unlikely that Cristiano Ronaldo will join the party, as he has yet to feature for Madrid in preseason and has some legal issues to attend to in Spain early next week. The last time the two teams met (back in April), Messi settled a toe-to-toe heavyweight slugfest with a sublime strike in injury time to silence the Bernabeu and give Barca a 3-2 win. The Catalan giants are an 11/8 shout with bet365 to win on Saturday, which looks a decent price when you factor in Ronaldo's probable absence. Furthermore, Los Blancos were hammered 4-1 by Manchester City on Wednesday.
It was an abject second-half display from Zinedine Zidane's men, who looked all over the shop defensively, indicating goals could be on the agenda again in Miami. You have to go back to November 2002 to find the last time a Clasico ended 0-0, so it could be worth backing the 9/4 on offer about both teams scoring in the first half with bet365.
A crowd of 93,000 saw Manchester City earn their first win of preseason in spectacular style as they thrashed Madrid 4-1 in Los Angeles. They face Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur in the International Champions Cup on Saturday, and are an 11/10 chance with bet365 to win.
Although City have spent north of £200 million on new players this summer, it was Kevin De Bruyne who pulled the strings against the Spanish giants, providing three assists during a mesmerising second-half display for the Blues. Youngster Brahim Diaz also dazzled, as Pep Guardiola's men put the reigning European champions to the sword in LA.
Over in New Jersey in midweek, Spurs lost 3-2 to Roma in a fiery encounter. Truth be told, the match also exposed Tottenham defensively. Mauricio Pochettinho played a three-man defence in the first half before reverting to a back four after the break against the Italians, so it will be interesting to see how they line up on Saturday.
Kyle Walker is set to play against his former club for the first time since his £55m move to Manchester, and his new employers look rightful favourites here. When the teams last met in January, they played out a breathless 2-2 draw at the Etihad, but Tottenham have yet to make a significant signing this summer. As a result, the impetus seems to be with free spending City, who should be backed with confidence to get the better of Spurs.