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 By Derek Bilton

Barcelona to own the Bernabeu once again? West Ham a sure thing?

Steve Nicol shares his thoughts on who will come out on top in the El Clasico showdown between La Liga's biggest superstars.

The column finished dead level in midweek thanks largely to Willian obliging as first goalscorer in Chelsea's game with Bournemouth at 6/1. There is any other busy weekend of action on the horizon, both in the Premier League and over in Spain where Real Madrid and Barcelona lock horns.

Running total: -£83.97

The Euro Wager

The bookmakers did not fancy Barcelona for La Liga glory at the start of the season, but after going unbeaten in their first 16 games and opening up a six-point lead at the top of the table, the Catalan giants are now heavy odds on shots for the title. They are also a 9/4 chance to beat Real Madrid in the latest installment of El Clasico on Saturday. Barca's away form has been excellent, having won six of eight away games, shipping just three goals during that run. They have won their last two league trips to the Bernabeu and have really solid claims here to beat a Real Madrid side who are 11 points behind them in the table.

Selection: £4 on Barcelona to win at 9/4 with bet365.

The Home Banker

After a torrid beginning, David Moyes is now starting to win over even the most diehard West Ham fans. Recent wins over Stoke and Chelsea were complemented by holding Arsenal to a goalless draw. They are coming to the boil nicely ahead of a hectic Christmas period and look a sure thing to see off a Newcastle side whose confidence must be rock-bottom. The Magpies have lost eight of their last nine Premier League matches, and anything better than even money about a home win here needs gobbling up.

Selection: £5 on West Ham to win at 21/20 with bet365.

The Tasty Treble

The weekend coupon could be a minefield for favourite backers in the Premier League, with some high-profile teams involved in some seriously tough fixtures. Chelsea head to an Everton side who look rejuvenated under Sam Allardyce, and the half-time draw there looks a bit runner at 6/5. Manchester United lost a pulsating Carabao Cup quarterfinal with Bristol City on Wednesday evening but could be a bet at 3/4 to do the business at Leicester. Finally, Burnley could be worth a punt at 3/1 to frustrate Tottenham and claim a draw at Turf Moor. Spurs have not been consistent this season and have won on only two of their last nine trips to Turf Moor. The treble looks tasty and is paying better than 14/1.

Selection: £1 on treble at 14.4/1 with bet365.

Mohamed Salah is red-hot at the moment for Liverpool.
Mohamed Salah could be worth backing as the first scorer at Arsenal.

The Wildcard Tip

In Mohamed Salah, Liverpool have the deadliest forward in the Premier League at the moment, and the Egyptian flyer might be the man to get with to score first in Liverpool's huge showdown with Arsenal on Friday night. Salah has been a revelation for Jurgen Klopp's men, hitting 20 goals before the halfway point of the season, and he can be backed at 9/2 to score first at the Emirates. Arsene Wenger's side rarely sit back, especially on home soil, and an open game could be meat and drink to the lightning-fast Salah.

Selection: £2 on Salah to score first at 9/2 with bet365.

The Bookie Basher

Commentators and journalists are running out of superlatives for this Manchester City side, less than a year after certain pundits took great delight in declaring Pep Guardiola had been "found out" by the Premier League. City are currently 11 points clear at the top, having taken 52 points out of a possible 54 so far. Bournemouth are the next club to try and take down this exotic light blue beast, but they will surely be overpowered and a 3-1 City win looks a fair bet at 11/1.

Selection: Manchester City to win 3-1 at 11/1 with bet365.

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