UEFA's decision to hand tonight's final Clasico to Belgian referee Frank de Bleeckere has prompted many to forecast some deja vu. The experienced official was in charge of last year's explosive semi-final at Camp Nou between Barcelona and Inter where he sent off Thiago Motta.
He's been in charge of four Champions League games already this season flashing 18 yellow cards but no reds. In fact the only red card he's given in two seasons of elite European action was Motta's 12 months ago.
You can already back Real Madrid ending the match with all eleven players @ 1.40. Los Blancos going down to ten (again) is 3.25 with nine or less @ 6.0.
On the penalty front de Bleeckere has awarded just the one this season in Europe. He pointed to the spot during Chelsea's routine 2-0 victory over Marseille last September.
The lines on the card markets are inviting but for value backing a penalty to be awarded has more merit. Two have been given already in this series of Clasico games along with about 150 appeals from both sides.
Penalty odds (Sportingbet)
Penalty awarded @ 3.0
Penalty scored @ 3.75
Penalty missed @ 10.0
Penalty awarded in first half @ 7.0
Penalty awarded in second half @ 6.0
Firt goal to be a penalty @ 9.0
Barcelona are certain to try and ram home their advantage from the outset while Real Madrid must win. Pepe and Sergio Ramos are suspended for the visitors and it wouldn't be a massive surprise to see another spot-kick given in this final contest.
Tip: Penalty to be awarded @ 3.0
Match Odds: Barcelona 1.60, Draw 4.10, Real Madrid 4.33 (Sportingbet)
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