Barcelona CF vs Real MadridFree
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Today’s free tip is in the Spanish Super Cup first leg between Barcelona CF and Real Madrid.
I don’t think there’s any real secret behind this particular tip. These two Spanish juggernauts are notorious for being able to find the back of the net. Personally, I find Real Madrid to be the better of the two teams right now, all things considered. That said, Barcelona CF have a much better manager at the helm this season so it’ll be interesting to see if they can cause Real Madrid any “new” problems here.
I can understand why some people are backing the Primera Liga champions to win this game. After all, losing Neymar without replacing him is a huge blow for Barcelona CF. However, what I tend to find in situations like these is when Barcelona CF come raring out of the traps, desperate to prove that one player’s departure/absence will not “slay” their team. When a team like Barcelona CF fuses effort with their undeniable quality, they become a real handful. Besides, although they don’t have a replacement as good as Neymar as of yet, they do have players like Arda Turan and Deulofeu that can come into the team, and both of them are more than capable of causing Real Madrid problems at this level.
I believe that Barcelona CF will bring a different kind of threat to Real Madrid that the visitors simply didn’t have against Manchester United mid-week. In my view, Manchester United didn’t do enough to pressurise Real Madrid, and invited world-class players onto their makeshift back four, and that produced rather predictable results. Take nothing away from Real Madrid because they were clinical, motivated, organised, and fantastic when it came to moving the ball around, especially Kroos. However, I do think that Manchester United invited trouble onto them without worrying Real Madrid enough at the other end, at least not until the second-half plus the introduction of Fellaini and Rashford. Barcelona CF are not going to be as charitable as that here. They’re at home, playing in front of a crowd that are furious with Neymar. I believe we’re going to see a very “angry” Barcelona CF display, and when that happens, they score goals. With class acts like Messi, Iniesta, and Suarez on the pitch, I feel like Barcelona CF are going to sorely test Ramos and co., scoring goals in the process.
Still, I can’t bring myself to back a Zidane team to lose because he’s proving himself to be one hell of a manager. People can praise who they want to for their successes last season – to me, it’s all about him. During difficult games, and at very important points, it was him that picked his team up, and it was him that turned things around with the right changes. For a young manager, Zidane is absolutely fantastic. He organises this team, he makes sure that everybody completely understands their respective roles, and he ensures that they take their chances when they arrive. It’s almost like a massive chess board for Zidane, and he knows each piece inside out.
You know what impresses me most about what Zidane has done at Real Madrid, though? It’s not the fact that he’s galvanised them, nor the fact that he’s not had to splash the cash to bring success to this club. It’s the fact that he’s made them one of the most deadly teams in Europe from set pieces. This is not a particularly big Real Madrid team. However, almost every single corner they have, Sergio Ramos somehow gets on the end of. Say what you want about Mourinho and Manchester United but that’s a big team nowadays and Mourinho will always prepare his teams to defend set pieces. However, I lost count of how many times Ramos won balls in the air, and it was a staple part of their displays last season too. It’s a lot more important for Real Madrid than a lot of people acknowledge, in my opinion.
Still, there’s no getting around the fact that Real Madrid have a lot of world-class players at the right time because they’ve all got boatloads of experience. Benzema, Marcelo, Bale, Ronaldo, Kroos, and Modric are not only fabulous footballers but they’re all in the prime of their careers. There’s just no way to contain this team, as even a wonderful Juventus defence amply demonstrated in Wales in May. There are weak points to this team (e.g. I really don’t rate Caravajal – he’s a liability at times) but there are far more positives than negatives and that tends to allow them plenty of opportunities to score goals. What else can I say? It’s generally safe to assume that Real Madrid can score at least two goals per game, and this one should be no different. However, when pressurised, Real Madrid do lose runners from full-back areas and they do struggle to stop players running at them, which Barcelona CF are really good at, so there are avenues for Los Cules to exploit.
I’m intrigued to see what Barcelona CF can do with a good manager at the helm. I don’t think we’ll find anything out tonight that will necessarily dictate the rest of this season but we’ll at least get a feel of Barcelona CF without Neymar and with someone competent in charge. Whichever way this one goes, I believe it’ll go over 3.5 goals.
Verdict: Over 3.5 goals at evens.
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As ever, if there are any explanations required then please feel free to post a comment! For the remainder of my thoughts on today’s games, see below, although I feel compelled to write that the below are not necessarily my tips but merely my thoughts to prevent endless questions about my thoughts on certain games. For confidence ratings, you’ll need to go to the members section here.
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Sint-Truiden vs Standard de Liege
Brazilian Serie A:
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Vasco da Gama vs Palmeiras
Atletico Mineiro vs Flamengo
Sport Recife vs Ponte Preta
Botafogo vs Gremio
Atletico Paranaense vs Bahia
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Beroe vs Botev Plovdiv
Levski Sofia vs Duanv 2010
Croatian Prva Liga:
Cibalia Vinkovci vs Rudes
Czech Republic Synot Liga:
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Karvina vs Mlada Boleslav
Dukla Prague vs Zlin
Slovan Liberec vs Sparta Prague
FC Midtjylland vs FC Nordsjaelland
Randers vs Brondby
AGF Aarhus vs OB Odense
English Premier League:
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Manchester United vs West Ham United
JJK Jyvaskyla vs PS Kemi Kings
French Ligue 1:
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Dijon FCO vs AS Monaco
En Avant Guingamp vs Paris Saint-Germain
German DFB Pokal:
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Osnabruck vs Hamburger SV
Spfr. Dorfmerkingen vs RB Leipzig
Eintracht Norderstedt vs VfL Wolfsburg
Magdeburg vs Augsburg
Energie Cottbus vs VfB Stuttgart
Italian Coppa Italia:
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Hellas Verona vs Avellino
Italian Super Cup:
Juventus vs SS Lazio
Lithuanian A Lyga:
Stumbras vs Atlantas Klaipeda
Jonava vs Utenis Utena
Suduva Marijampole vs Kauno Zalgiris
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Portuguese Segunda Liga:
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Santa Clara vs Sporting Covilha
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Leixoes Matosinhos vs Varzim
Uniao Madeira vs Real
SL Benfica II vs CD Nacional de Madeira
Vitoria Guimaraes II vs UD Oliveirense
Penafiel vs Famalicao
Russian Premier League:
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Lokomotiv Moscow vs Tosno
Zenit St.Petersburg vs Akhmat Grozny
FK Krasnodar vs Amkar Perm’
Spanish Super Cup:
Barcelona CF vs Real Madrid
Hammarby vs Ostersunds FK
AIK Solna vs AFC Eskilstuna
Jonkopings Sodra vs Orebro
IFK Norrkoping vs Djurgarden
Swiss Schweizer Pokal:
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