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BARCELONA AND REAL MADRID: WHO HAS FIXTURE ADVANTAGE

The fight for silverware is set to resume but who has the edge?

The run-in

Barcelona have the slight advantage after 27 games. Since 2010/11, only one side has failed to go on to lift the trophy after being top at this stage. That was Real Madrid, who eventually finished third as neighbours Atletico lifted the trophy.

Real have one more home game left than Barcelona, with back-to-back home fixtures in store when the league returns. Zidane’s side are unbeaten at home in the league this season but, as we’ve seen already in the Bundesliga, home advantage seems to be reduced behind-closed-doors.

The advantage could be further diminished as Madrid will not be playing at the Bernabeu again this season due to refurbishment plans. Instead, games will be at the reserve team’s 6,000-seater Alfredo Di Stefano Stadium.

Both sides still have to face the current bottom three. Barcelona will be eased back into football with games against Mallorca and Leganes – 18th and 19th respectively – while Real will finish their season against Leganes, who will either have nothing to play for – or could be scrapping for their La Liga status.

Barcelona have already lost twice to Athletic Bilbao this season away from home

Statistically, Barcelona have a very slight advantage in the run-in. Their remaining opponents have a current average position of 13th, with Real’s averaging 12th.

Barcelona recorded eight wins against the 11 teams they have left to play, suffering draws to current bottom-side Espanyol and Osasuna, with defeat by Athletic Bilbao.

As for Real Madrid, they failed to record victories against four of their upcoming opponents, with draws against Valencia, Bilbao and Villarreal. They have to face league minnows Mallorca again, who provided the shock result of the season by beating them 1-0 back in October. In this entirely unscientific prediction, if both sides mirrored those results, Barcelona would pick up the title by four points.

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