Is this it? Is this finally the changing of the guard? There have been false dawns. Plenty of them. However, this feels different. Real Madrid did nothing short of rip Barcelona apart on Tuesday night in the Copa Del Rey. The 1-3 scoreline was flattering to Barcelona, the late Jordi Alba consolation provided scant measures of exactly that. Madrid barely broke sweat. Mourinho had them lined up tactically to a place very close to perfection, and his men executed exactly the game plan The Special One envisioned. For Real Madrid fans it was pure ecstasy, and almost tasty enough to be revenge for the 0-5 drubbing Barcelona fans remember so fondly from two seasons ago.
In the short term, Madrid go on to play, well, Madrid, as Real’s win earned them a place in the final against Atletico. If you listen to one thing we say in the 2013, please let it be this, get on the card index for that one. If Pepe and Diego Costa don’t combine for at least 20 bookings index points on their own we will be shocked.
Long term, as we asked at the outset, is this the marker point for the changing of the guard? Sure, Madrid have beaten Barcelona before, once or twice during this current magnificent reign of the Catalan club. However, Tuesday night’s win just looked different, didn’t it? Real Madrid now seem to have an edge in a number of key areas.
They are younger. they appear fitter and they have a couple of very young stars who are set to blossom into the future, wreaking havoc on El Classicos for years to come. Is the key due for Barcelona, Iniesta and Xavi, running out of steam? Are they running out of ideas? Young French defender Rafael Veran perhaps epitomizes this perceived change in stature of the two clubs perfectly. He is 19, a major star in the making, and already scoring goals for fun in El Classico (a perfect 2 for 2 in goals and appearances).
There is one caveat to all this. Some Barcelona watchers are putting this mini slump (losing to AC Milan and then Madrid) down to a dip in physical form, a phase basically, and they expect Barce to bounce back. This Saturday would be a good time to do that, as they face Real Madrid in yet another El Classico at 3pm (note the early start time).
The perfect opportunity for us to all take a look and see for ourselves. Have Madrid finally surpassed Barcelona as the best team in La Liga?
la Programar: A closer look at the live LaLiga action this weekend
Saturday 15:00 Real Madrid v Barcelona SkySports1
Saturday 21:00 Valencia v Levante SkySports1
Sunday 18:00 Malaga v Atletico Madrid SkySports1
Sunday 20:00 Real Socidead v Real Betis SkySports1
Seis de los Mejores: 6 x La Liga tips to boost your BetDash bankroll
(16-13-1 record to date, 58% success rate)
1. Real Madrid v Barcelona over 3.5 goals 5/4
2. Osasuna v Athletic Bilbao - Osasuna to win 13/10
3. Valencia v Levante - Valencia to win 4/7
4. Malaga v Atletico Madrid – Atletico to win 8/5
5. Sevilla v Celta Vigo - Sevilla to win 4/9
6. Real Sociedad v Betis - Over 2.5 goals 10/11
Last week’s results
1. Deportivo La Coruna v Real Madrid - Over 2.5 goals 4/11 Winner!
2. Athletic Bilbao v Real Sociedad - Real Sociedad +1 4/7 Winner!
3. Betis v Malaga - Malaga +1 4/9 Lose.
4. Real Zaragoza v Valencia - Valencia to score 2 or more 11/8 Winner!
5. Barcelona v Sevilla - Over 3.5 goals 4/6 Lose
6. Levante v Osasuna - Osasuna to score 1 or more goals 1/2 Winner!
Tiempo la Competencia: Competition Time
Unbelievable. For the FIFTH week running our competition saw a tie for the final result. What this means is, we have a competition roll-over (again!) and a tasty prize of 60 quid in the BetDash account of the winner of our La Liga preview competition. To get your sweaty little hands on our cash, simply pick six teams to win this weekend in La Liga and enter in the comment section below with your BetDash user name. We will give a point per win and the user with the most points will win the full roll-over amount of 60 quid. In the event of a tie the pot will roll forward (again) to the next week!
If you include the Getafe game tonight, answers must be in by the first kick-off time (8:30pm tonight Friday night) – otherwise answers must be in before tomorrow Saturday 3pm.
Good luck, and enjoy the games!Tags: Barcelona, La Liga, la liga bets, La liga betting tips, la liga tipping, Real Madrid